Couple takes wedding to father in Des Plaines hospice care

DES PLAINES, Ill. (WLS) -- With hands clasped and hearts full, Anthony Schlade and Mary-Jo Backley gave a gift on their wedding day.

"I have the greatest dad in the world. He's always been there for me. (He's) supported me through good and bad," said Anthony Schlade about his father William. "He has a glow. He's special. He's just a great person."

Schlade and Backley got married early in front of a huge crowd at William's nursing home in Des Plaines.

William is in hospice care with kidney failure, and is in no condition to leave for a ceremony, so the couple brought it to him.

"So we moved our wedding way ahead so he could be there for it," Anthony said.

"It's hard to believe, it's hard to believe all of this is happening," William said.

Friday morning, William was there to see the bride walk down the aisle. He looked on proudly at his son, locking eyes for a moment as the officiant spoke, both full of emotion.

"I wouldn't be where I am if it wasn't for him," Anthony said before the ceremony.

"He's the one that's always said he was never going to get married and those are the ones that get married," William joked.

And as the officiant pronounced Anthony and Mary-Jo husband and wife, William watched, joyful.

"It couldn't be any better, couldn't be as exciting. It's wonderful," he said.

And for Anthony and Mary-Jo on their special day?

"(We) couldn't be any happier," Anthony said adding that his father was his "best man."

Asbury Court Retirement put on the wedding at no cost to the bride and groom, and provided a reception afterwards.
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