ADEL, GA (WALB) - As Charles Shivers and his fiance sat in their kitchen Wednesday night talking about their upcoming wedding on Sunday, they knew it would not have been possible without the support of their local community.
In August, Charles was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer. Doctors didn't know what caused it, and they only gave him nine months to live. "I was devastated. I was like, 'take this IV out of me and let me go home. I wanna be with my family,'" Charles admitted. His doctors in Tifton sent his test results off to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for another opinion, and after examining the results the doctors there gave him a slightly longer time to live.
He drove up to Emory and had his first consultation with the doctors there on September 8th. "I was anxious, scared, but I've been prayin' a lot," Charles said.
The night before Charles got the initial news from his doctors that he had liver cancer and only had nine months to live, he proposed to Jessica at the hospital in his hospital gown, unaware of the diagnosis he would receive just 24 hours later.
"It broke my heart a little bit to see him like that," said Jessica. "At the time I just broke. I didn't know what to do. I went on the computer and I tried to find anything I could to help him."
The word quickly spread around town about their situation, and the support immediately began coming in from businesses, organizations, and every day citizens. "We have the flowers, the dress, the rings, the venue, everything. Everything is just people reaching out and being, like, 'how can I help? What can I do,'" Jessica explained.
The community even organized a benefit concert for Saturday night at the Circlestone Country Club in Adel to help the couple pay for travel expenses. They will soon be traveling back and forth to Atlanta frequently, as Charles is set to begin treatment at Emory University Hospital on September 19th.
"Just her being there for me and God and all my friends, that's what's bringing me through this and I'm gonna make it," said Charles.
The benefit concert is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. and the public is welcome to attend. The cover charge is $10.