It's Friday the 13th, but to Danielle Waring today is the "luckiest day of my life."
Nearly 200 of her current and former students will be there as part of an overnight event to educate and raise money for cancer research expected to draw 1000 people and raise $100,000.
Waring, 32, a cancer survivor who has been in remission for nine years, will marry fiancée Paulo Bernardo on the infield of the Wilton High School track field at 8 p.m.
Then, the couple will spend their wedding night camping out with 150 kids who will take part in overnight activities that span from Friday afternoon until Saturday morning.
"It's a pretty unique way to get married and spend your wedding night," Waring said as she prepared for both the event and her wedding Friday morning.
Waring, the "Teacher of the Year" in Stamford, said she wouldn't have it any other way, not after the way she met her 33-year-old fiancée.
She was waiting to be discharged in the lobby of Stamford Hospital on Dec. 21, 2001, after months of treatment that included a medically induced coma and stem cell transplant that sent her acute myeloid leukemia into remission.
Bernardo, an emergency room technician, was there to pick up his paycheck. He recognized her from their days at Greenwich High School, recalling how they always seemed to run into each other.
"If it weren't for getting cancer I would have never have met up with Paulo again," she said. "That's one reason I feel it's important to give back and volunteer for cancer research. Today I feel like the luckiest woman in the world, and, no, being Friday the 13th doesn't bother me ... but I wouldn't want to stretch my luck and break a mirror. That may worry me a little."
Evening Highlights: 7 p.m.: Official Opening Ceremony, including Boy Scout Troop 125. 7:20 p.m.: Survivor Lap/Survivor Caregiver Lap/Walk with a Hero, Wilton Fire Dept/Cert/EMT 8 p.m.: Wedding ceremony of Danielle Waring and Paulo Bernardo. 8:30 p.m.: Acoustic Wilton. 9 p.m.: Luminaria Ceremony, walking in candlelight in honor of loved ones. Midnight: Fight Back Ceremony. 12:30 to 2 a.m.: Coffeehouse in Survivor Tent. 2 a.m.: Downstairs Mix Up. 3 a.m.: Stand Up Comedy Improv. 5:30 a.m. Sunrise: "Why I Relay" Ceremony and Final Lap.
Would you get married on Friday the 13th for a good cause? Leave comment below.
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