OAKLAND (KPIX) — November 16, 2017 was a day when the words “in sickness and in health” took on a whole new meaning for Vieneese Stanton.
On that day, Stanton’s terminally-ill father, Preston Rolan, walked her down the aisle the only way he could — in his hospital ward at UCSF medical center, which the nursing staff had temporarily transformed into a chapel.
Three weeks later, Rolan died of leukemia but Stanton and her husband Douglas say the memory of that day lives on.
“Remembering his smile that day and his joy for that day definitely supersedes any of those images that I might have of him with his illness,” Vieneese Stanton said.
That day inspired the newlyweds to establish a non-profit a few months later which they named Stanton Standards.
“We provide lasting memories for family members that have a loved one with terminal illness,” explained Vieneese Stanton.
Their first patient, a woman named Yvonne, suffers from a heart condition and has been given a year to live.
She said “I would just like to go to dinner one good time.”
The Stantons partnered with Oakland’s Southern Cafe restaurant and made that simple wish come true with a soul-food dinner and tribute to Yvonne from the people closest to her.
“People only tell these stories like that at funerals and for you to tell somebody that story before that time has passed, it means so much to her,” Douglas Stanton said.
Now the Stantons are raising money at their foundation’s Facebook page for a second patient: a mother with advanced ovarian cancer whose time is running out.
“We’re looking forward to doing what we can for her in the coming weeks,” Stanton said.
The couple has learned from experience how important such lasting memories are.
“Those moments are priceless,” Stanton said.