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2018 Southern Bride

Bridal magazine produced by the Houston Home Journal in Perry, Georgia.

For better, for worse

For better, for worse For couple Crystal and Will, they honored this vow even before saying “I do” In life everyone encounters things that they don’t like or don’t understand, but it is up to us on how we handle it. Winston Churchill once said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” And the love shown by William “Will” Zunino, IV made a big difference in Crystal Wisecup’s life. Crystal was born and raised in Warner Robins. She graduated from Northside High School, which is where she also met her future husband Will Zunino. The two met in Spanish class where Crystal said jokingly that he cheated off of her work. “At the time we were just friends,” Crystal said. “We didn’t start dating until about five, six years after high school.” After graduating high school Crystal got a degree in education and began teaching at Thomson Middle School in Centerville. One day not long after starting at Thomson Middle she said she saw Will there, he was working for the Board of Education’s maintenance department. The two reconnected and set up their first date. “We were supposed to go to a football game, but he stood me up,” she said laughing. “But I saw him again at work and we started dating. Then after a month and a half of dating I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer. I had a 13-centimeter mass between my heart and chest cavity. It was a complete shock to my family and I because we had no history of this. Actually the doctors had told me that I had cancer for two to three years without knowing it.” Crystal was at Will’s apartment when she was experiencing pain. She said that whole week she didn’t feel good and on Friday began to have chest pain after she played basketball with one of her students. “When I got to his apartment I had trouble eating, but I didn’t think much of it,” Crystal said. “That night when he came back from work he said if I couldn’t drink any milk he was going to take me to the emergency room. I couldn’t, so he took me and that’s when we found the mass. At the time we didn’t know if it was cancerous because they transferred me from the Perry Hospital to Navicent. I spent a week up there because they did several tests and biopsies. Once those came back is when they diagnosed me with stage 2 non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma.” The next week Crystal went to the oncologist’s office where she was told she needed six rounds of chemo. During that same visit the doctor told her that she would lose her hair and that there is a possibility that she may not be able to have children. “I was so upset and couldn’t believe this was happening,” Crystal said. “But Will takes me outside, gets me in the car and the first thing that comes out of his mouth is, “Does this mean I have to shave my beard”. He made me laugh and I felt better. My hair didn’t start falling out until the second round of chemo so I just decided that night to go to my friend’s house to shave it. Well he really surprised me and shaved his hair too. It really meant so much to me, I mean here we are hadn’t even been dating this long and he was so phenomenal to do that.” Crystal completed all of her treatments was in remission in May 2015. But when she first was in the hospital getting diagnosed, she was pretending to be asleep one night when she overheard Will’s mother Sylvia Zunino and Will talking about what kind of ring to get in order to propose to her. “Something about when you find that special person you just know, it’s hard to explain,” Crystal said. “I didn’t freak out about him wanting to propose and we had only been dating a month and a half. But we did talk about it and I said I didn’t want him to propose until I got my hair back. So on Christmas day in 2016 is when he proposed. I was kind of thrown off but he was acting weird that night. Some friends of ours, his sister, brother-in-law and nephew, 26 Southern Bride 26-27 Zunino story.indd 2 2/14/18 3:40:33 PM

Story by Kristin Moriarty Photos by Southern Style Photography & Danielle Crosby we all went out to look at the Christmas lights on Ball Street in Perry. He wouldn’t come near me. I knew something was funny too because I usually bring my camera and take pictures, but he told me not to worry about it. Then we made our way to the Christmas tree at the courthouse. My nephew was running around and when I ran around the tree there was Will ready to propose.” Crystal and Will got married on April 14, 2017, which was also her dad’s birthday. The two then had a big ceremony on Dec. 3, the day her dad passed away in 2004. “Before we were even engaged I had got my wedding dress,” Crystal said. “I bought it the last day of chemo. During my chemo they would get me to plan out what I would do for my wedding to help keep my mind of the pain. I was actually fine until the last chemo treatment. I had severe pain and then my eyelashes and eyebrows fell out. I didn’t want to go out or do anything, but my mom took me to this place they were turning into a venue, which they also had a shop and that’s where I got my dress.” “But I love Will with all of my heart,” she went on to say. “He makes me laugh no matter what and makes the best out of any situation. One time we were headed to Kroger and we made it there, but I was so weak I couldn’t walk anymore so we stopped at the Starbucks inside and made a date out of it. Another time was I went to chemo downstairs and couldn’t make it back so he went and got food to make it another date. He just has a big heart and I love his humor. We’re both like two big kids. We had a wonderful ceremony and we took it as a time to honor all the people who couldn’t be there like my dad, some of his family and Karma Lilly Little who was a good family friend. She had just passed, only seven years old from cancer a couple of months before the wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony celebrating our love and our love for our family and friends.” Once Crystal was in remission she decided not to go back to teaching. Instead she went back to school to become an oncology nurse and is set to graduate May 2018. She said she wanted to give to those fighting cancer love and support like her nurses did for her. “I love Will with all of my heart. He makes me laugh no matter what and makes the best out of any situation.” Southern Bride 27 26-27 Zunino story.indd 3 2/14/18 3:47:06 PM

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