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Lansing, Michigan

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Cancer Patient Receives Gift of Life and Love

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A Leukemia survivor got a second chance at life and love when she married her long-time boyfriend thinking that she was going to die, but was instead given the gift of life thanks to a cutting edge technology.

Melinda Muniz married her boyfriend and the father of two of her children while on what she believed was her death bed. Fifty pounds lighter than her normal weigh and deathly pale, she made it through a wedding ceremony officiated in June 2011. Needless to say, her first photographs weren't very flattering, but in October she was given another chance by doctors. Muniz underwent chemotherapy and a half-match bone marrow transplant at Thomas Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center and by this week she felt much better.

But that wasn't the end of Muniz's blessings. Another cancer patient, Jerry Tomko, who is a professional wedding photographer and who was also successfully treated at Thomas Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center, wanted to pay his good fortune forward. After hearing about Muniz from the doctors, he decided to give her a present–the beautiful wedding photos that she never got the first time around while struggling to survive. This time she had a flowing white gown, a bouquet of white roses and a fur shawl and Tomko took pictures of her and her husband in historical sights all around the City of Brotherly Love. (Read more about half-match bone marrow transplants).