Making Memories

Autumn Wedding Expo will be held Friday through Sunday

When: Friday VIP event, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Brides admission: $25, Guests $15, Saturday and Sunday,

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Montgomery Park, 2701 N.W. Vaughn, Portland

Contact: (503) 491-8091 or visit www.makingmemories.org.

How much: Free admission to gown sale. Admission to wedding expo is $3.

When: Friday VIP event, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Brides admission: $25, Guests $15, Saturday and Sunday,

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Montgomery Park, 2701 N.W. Vaughn, Portland

Contact: (503) 491-8091 or visit www.makingmemories.org.

How much: Free admission to gown sale. Admission to wedding expo is $3.

Jennifer Peters had a summer vacation to remember with her children, thanks to donations made to the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation.

Peters, of Vancouver, had been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. On July 18, 2009, her doctor gave her a prognosis of one year to live.

Peters, 44, spent four days in June at Disneyland with her daughters Briona Woodards, 13, and Kianna Woodards, 11.

“The trip meant so much to me,” Peters said. “I never thought I’d be able to take my kids to Disneyland. I did not have the money, and I did not know if I would have the health long enough to do a trip like that.”

Making Memories also paid for Peters’ sister/caregiver Barb Peters and Barb’s daughter Jessica, 14, to go on the trip. Peters’ older sister Antoinette Schlobohm and Antoinette’s son Jacob, of Fremont, Calif., made it a family affair.

Peters’ best friend Heather Graven, of Vancouver, paid her own way to get to Disneyland. The two have been best friends since they were freshmen at Wilson High School, in Portland.

Graven is credited with doing the research to find out about Making Memories.

“She had gotten a prognosis and was so tired,” Graven said. “She talked about a Disneyland trip. I thought I’ve got to make this happen for her. Her kids are amazing, and she is the most wonderful person.

“It was amazing to have the wish granted for her,” she added. “There was a lot of bonding and a lot of laughing.”

Peters’ favorite memories of the trip include having photos taken with characters such as Mickey Mouse and Cinderella, enjoying family dinners and shopping for T-shirts with her daughters.

Peters, whose breast cancer has spread to her bones, brain, lungs and liver, appreciates the Making Memories Foundation.

“It means breast cancer patients are getting a wonderful opportunity to get to do things at a serious time in their life when it seems their options are really limited, as far as what they can do,” she said.

Peters also appreciates the women who have donated their gowns for the Brides Against Breast Cancer sales across the U.S.

“I think they are amazing,” she said. “A lot of people hang onto their wedding dresses and never wear them again. For them to donate their dresses, it’s a simple thing for them to do. It’s a huge thing for the recipients of the wishes.

“We try to have as much hope as possible,” Peters added. “Wishes are like magic. It’s something you don’t expect.”

Graven described each donated wedding gown as “a Godsend.”

“If you are looking for an alternative way to acquire your wedding dress, it goes to an amazing foundation,” she said. “They grant these wishes. When you buy your wedding dress, not only are you getting a great deal but you’re working with amazing people. You’re making it possible for these stage 4 breast cancer patients to have a wish granted.

“They have some gorgeous dresses,” Graven added. “They treat you very well. It’s very personal. You’re blessing someone too. You’re giving back to a cause. It meant the world to Jenny that this was possible. ‘Making Memories’ – it’s a perfectly appropriate name.”

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