A young couple in Tennessee’s marriage came to a tragic and heartbreaking end Thursday just weeks after their wedding day.

The couple decided to marry in late August even though 26-year-old Christopher Ford had been diagnosed with cancer about a year ago. A local charity provided free wedding services for Ford to marry Nicole, his fiancé and the mother of his two children, according to the Murfeesboro Daily News Journal.

“I was praying this was just a bad dream and it never happened. Unfortunately it did happen. My heart left with him. I'm numb and hurting. ... I'm so broken and devastated ,” Nicole Ford wrote on her Facebook page after her new husband died. “Rest in peace, my love.”

Ford was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth and the throat about a year ago and was given an 80 percent chance of surviving at the time. When nearing the end of that life expectancy, Ford was given what has been described as his dying wish: to marry Nicole. He called her the love of his life.

Now, Nicole Ford and the family are planning on taking his remains back to his home town of Philadelphia. To finance the costs, they have set up a Go Fund Me Page that they hope will help them get there with him. They have also asked for their community to pray for their family.

Donations to go toward paying the medical costs and funeral trip to Philadelphia can be made through this link.

Squamous cell carcinoma is a skin disease that most commonly occurs on areas of the body exposed to the sun and usually after many years of ultraviolet ray exposure. People who develop the disease often have occupations that require long hours outdoors or have spent extensive leisure or recreation time outdoors. Ford’s was different, as his cancer developed in his lungs and throat.

Christopher and Nicole Ford had been together three years, and have a 4-year-old daughter, Maddie, and a 1-year-old son, Tristan.