Cancer can’t keep Craig couple from dancing | CraigDailyPress.com

Cancer can’t keep Craig couple from dancing

— Cancer isn't a part of most love stories, but when one Craig couple were confronted with the illness they didn't let it stop them from dancing.

Dwayne and Laura Gonzalas love to dance together.

"I had a broken foot, and she was receiving chemo and we were still dancing," Dwanye said.

The couple married in September 2010. About two years later Laura started feeling sick.

"I had been sick… We just didn't know what was going on," she said.

In August 2013 doctors told Dwanye that his bride had stage four colon cancer that had metastasized. They believed she only had a few months to live.

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"I finally found the person I was meant to be with and someone tells you she only has a couple of months left," Dwanye said. "It was devastating."

They stayed strong for each other and their five children and family and friends helped.

"The community came together. They embraced our children. They embraced us and helped us stay together," Laura said.

Help was offered by many of the same people who had also celebrated their marriage three years earlier.

A modern love story

Despite growing up and graduating from Moffat County High School a year apart, it was over 30 years before Dwanye and Laura would meet.

"I noticed him first. I saw Dwayne on the football field. He was beautiful, just gorgeous," Laura said.

Laura was going through a divorce and wasn't thinking of marriage.

"I thought I'm never getting married again, I'm just going to raise my kids," she said.

On September 18, 2010 — the date that Dwayne Gonzales to Laura they would marry — a wedding joined the couple and their children into one large, loving family. The family pictured on their wedding day including: Dwayne and Laura seated and from left to right, Lane, Shay, Brendon (Whiteboy), Emily and Shianne.

Once her divorce was final Laura couldn't help herself and found Dwayne on Facebook. They struck up a conversation first via Facebook and then over the phone.

"We talked everyday," Laura said. "We had talked about a month when he said, 'I'm going to marry you. Sept. 18, 2010, mark it down.' I said I'll pencil it in and he said I should ink it in."

On Valentine’s Day 2010 at the Ore House at the Pine Grove in Steamboat Springs Dwayne kneeled and asked Laura to marry him.

"I just knew it was going to happen. She is my soul mate. I knew it was meant be," Dwanye said.

She said yes.

The next day Dwayne started planning their Oakland Raiders football- themed wedding for the date marked on Laura's calendar: Sept. 18, 2010.

"We wanted to have a Raiders wedding. It was a secret thing, but somehow it got out," Dwayne said. "Tim Janz did the wedding. He showed up in a Broncos' jersey. Everyone showed-up in all kinds of jerseys."

And when the happy couple cut open their silver and black Raiders cake they found Bronco orange and blue inside.

Dancing into the future together

The couple has made a home for their blended family in Craig.

Laura works as a nurse at YampaCare Family Medicine. Dwayne has worked for 19 years as a heavy equipment operator with the City of Craig and a year and a half ago started G7 Hydrographics.

They continue to wage a battle against cancer. The last tumor was removed at Thanksgiving.

"I go to chemo every other Friday in Steamboat. It's become part of our life now, it's become normal," Laura said.

The fight is made bearable as they balance each other out, when one feels like giving up the other provides support and encouragement.

They don't let themselves think of what might happen. Instead they focus on their family and each other.

"When he texts me I still get excited. I get excited like we are just dating. I can't wait to get home because I can hug him," Laura said. "At first I just wanted to get my kids raised. Now I want to be a grandma. I want to grow old with him."

Cancer has caused their love to deepen, their hearts to grow bigger and their feet to keep dancing.

"We took a lot for granted," Dwanye said. "Now we appreciate the little things and dancing."

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

Laura and Dwayne’s tips for a happy marriage

Laura and Dwayne are more in love now than when they first wed. Here are their top tips for a happy marriage:

• Learn patience.

• Keep it fun.

• Tell each other ‘I love you,’ a lot, you don’t know if it’s the last time.

• Don’t make each other feel bad for the stupid things we do.

• Don’t take life for granted.

• Slow down and enjoy life.