MaryBeth Brutsman has always wanted to see the Rose Parade, but cancer will prevent her from seeing it in person. (Source: Brutsman family)
Daughter-in-law Debby Brutsman came up with the idea to give MaryBeth Brutsman her own Rose Parade with flowers in her final weeks. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
MaryBeth Brutsman's wish has always been to see the Rose Parade in person. So, this past Christmas when she opened her Christmas presents, it was no surprise what her family would hear.
"As she has done many times, she said, 'You know I really wanted to go to the Rose Parade. I was really hoping we could do that this year,'" said Debby Brutsman about her 67-year-old mother-in-law.
The family thought they'd make plans to be there one day, but then that day quickly faded away when MaryBeth Brutsman was diagnosed a week after Christmas with stage 4 throat cancer.
"I want the flowers to be there with her. I want her to be surrounded by them for the rest of her life," Debby Brutsman said.
Doctors recently told the Brutsman family she has six to eight weeks to live. The idea of the Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA, is now out of the question. That's when Debby Brutsman asked herself, "Wouldn't it be great if we brought the Rose Parade to her?"
The journey to make MaryBeth's Brutsman's dream come true began after that thought.
Debby Brutsman contacted Denise Gotcher, a Phoenix-area photographer who had recently taken Frank and MaryBeth Brutsman's pictures during their vow renewal at Papago Park.
Gotcher described MaryBeth Brutsman as a charmer whose love of life is contagious. She started a blog and a Facebook page for the flower donations, and said it has produced a lot of success.
"Almost immediately, within the first day, we had about 1,000 hits on our blog, and brides who are getting married this weekend are donating their flowers. Others are asking how they can donate," Gotcher said.
Debbie received emails from the Rose Parade saying it would like to be part of "MaryBeth's Rose Parade," but details were still not known from the California giant.
Family members told CBS 5 News that they were still working out the details of how they will unveil the flowers to MaryBeth Brutsman. They estimated the unveiling would happen either Sunday or Monday. They also said that the "parade" was a big surprise, so if you know MaryBeth Brutsman, don't tell her.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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