An Illinois oncology nurse decided to take a sad moment in life — her wedding being called off — and turn it into something positive.
Jessica Leja, 30, said that when her wedding was canceled earlier this year, she knew she wanted to give her $1,800 wedding dress to someone in need. She regularly works with cancer patients and thought it would be special to choose someone who had been diagnosed.
"I told my local newspaper I wanted to do," Leja told InsideEdition.com. "They said, 'If you don’t mind, can we write a story about it?'" "I started of getting hundreds of emails of these girls telling their stories."
When she came across a video of Toni Roberts of Tennessee, who is currently battling breast cancer and has gone through six rounds of chemotherapy, Leja's choice was made.
"I knew right away this is the girl and this is her dress, but I wanted to allow other women to have a chance to email and tell their stories as well," Leja said. “She told me about Daniel and how he was her rock and how he helped her through this whole thing."
The pair have quickly become friends, FaceTiming and texting each other to keep in touch.
Earlier this month, they met for the first time after Leja drove seven hours to Tennessee to give the dress to Roberts in person. It was an emotional moment for both of them.
“It was immediate hugs," Roberts said. "It was just awesome."
Leja said she felt like the moment was “meant to happen.”
Roberts has one more surgery to go, but hopes to marry her fiancé in February.
The women remain friends, and Leja said she will definitely attend the wedding.