WATAUGA -- The Christmas tree is still up in the living room because it makes Monica Wilkinson happy. Life, for her, hasn't always been so.
Monica and her fiance Leroy had planned since 2009 to marry and become parents together. But a series of miscarriages, a late-term still-born daughter, and financial struggles canceled the wedding several times.
Then in January came a devastating diagnosis of Stage 4 ovarian cancer that has spread. Monica underwent emergency surgery and is in the process of 18 rounds of chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is next.
'It just was seeming like every dream we had was just completely out of reach for everything,' admits Monica.
Bills from cancer treatment began piling up. After reaching out to charity organizations for financial assistance to make their wedding happen, Monica recently got an unexpected call out of the blue.
'I got a call from his assistant,' recalls Monica. 'And she said Mark Cuban was going to help pay for our wedding. And I was completely floored. I thought it was a joke.'
It was no joke.
Mark Cuban paid for the Wilkinsons' April wedding. Monica and Leroy say it was a perfect day filled with love, hope, and joy.
Monica Wilkinson knows she'll never be able to bear a child of her own because of the cancer. She might not even have a long life.
But she did have the wedding of her dreams.
'I felt like a princess,' she says.
If it's the last thing she does, she wants Cuban to know something.
'Now we actually have those memories that can actually get us through,' says Monica. 'I can go back and have those pictures now and have a reason to smile. Because I got to feel special and it was all thanks to Mark Cuban.'
The Wilkinsons would like to thank Mark Cuban personally. If that's not possible, Leroy has a simple message he hopes Cuban will get.
'Thank you,' he said. 'She means the world to me.'