Mary Ann Manning
Generous supporters of Hope Hospice helped Mary Ann Manning’s last wish of dancing with her son at his wedding come true. Mary Ann’s story has inspired people around the world to live each moment to the fullest.
Mary Ann Manning was a beautiful and loving wife and mom. And, her children were her world. When she got the news that she had terminal breast cancer, she determined to fight the disease. Soon her son Ryan got engaged and Mary Ann was so happy! She set her goal to dance the mother/son dance with Ryan. She and Ryan chose their song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Now in her third year of the cancer fight, things got tough. The cancer grew… she had suffered strokes and seizures. But without question she wanted to get to that wedding no matter what it took. Her doctors chose a treatment regimen that would hopefully get her there. A month before the wedding she was no longer responding to the medication. It was time to stop all treatments. Mary Ann had taught her children to never give up, and so the family sought more help
They had recently used Hope Hospice for their grandmother, so we were the perfect group to reach out to again. They called and explained that Mary Ann’s dying wish was to dance at her son’s wedding in Orange County. So Hope Hospice came up with a plan. Our nurse gave tips on travelling via car or plane, because Mary Ann was now in a wheelchair. She also packed a kit for Mary Ann’s daily care needs, including medications to make her comfortable. The Hope Hospice nurse continued to check in and coached the family through several different situations to alleviate Mary Ann’s symptoms and keep her comfortable.
The wedding day arrived, and looking as beautiful as ever, Mary Ann sat proudly in the front row during the ceremony. There were many tears flowing, and the family members felt so blessed to have this time with her. She rested a bit during dinner, and then it was time to dance.
She was wheeled over to the dance floor. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” started, and as if her legs had worked all along, she popped out of her wheelchair on her own and met her son in the middle of the floor. Sobs could be heard in every direction, everyone knew they were witnessing a miracle. She finished the dance and she was surrounded with hugs and kisses.
A youtube video of Mary Ann’s dance with her son went viral and was shared by several major media outlets. Mary Ann has inspired many people to make the most of every moment. Click below to see the special moment:
She then collapsed in the wheelchair and was brought right to bed. The next day she stopped eating and only woke for minutes at a time. The Hope Hospice nurse explained to the family via phone that Mary Ann was very close to the end and they should not try to drive her back home as planned. Mary Ann had met her goal to dance at Ryan’s wedding, and now she would need to stay in Orange County to pass. Hope Hospice found a local hospital which sat up on a hill and looked out on the ocean. They felt like this was where she was meant to be. She died peacefully with her children, sister, and husband by her side.
The family is deeply thankful to all the supporters of Hope Hospice who made Mary Ann’s last special moments possible. After saying goodbye to loved ones, remembering those last special moments can be so uplifting during the tough process of healing. Hope Hospice is there to enable and support special moments and relieve much of the stress. We take care of the important details so families can focus on each other and create memories of loving times spent together.
Your help is needed to make special moments like these possible for families facing life-limiting illnesses this holiday season. As an independent, non-profit organization Hope Hospice does not deny care to anyone due to lack of finances or insurance. Will you please give now to help patients like Mary Ann live each day to the fullest with dignity, hope, and courage? Thank you! (Donations are tax-deductible to full extent of the law)