Couple Asks for Donations in lieu of Wedding Gifts

Francis Beckman and Dick Martiny were married on May 7, 2016 at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center in Columbia, MD. In lieu of wedding gifts, Mr. & Mrs. Martiny asked their guests to make a donation to the UC Irvine Diabetes Center, raising $950.

Francis is a graduate of UC Irvine in Social Ecology and wanted to give back in a meaningful way. Dick’s first wife died from diabetes complications in her sixties and Dick himself has Type 2 diabetes, as do several of their friends.

Their Story
“The first time I met Dick, he was a high school junior and I was a freshman at DJ O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia. At my brother’s prodding, Dick asked me to go to his senior prom,
for our one and only date together”, says Francis.  After High school they went their separate ways, attending college, getting  married and having kids.

“When my daughters both moved to DC in 2013, I went to visit them and looked up Dick after talking to his sister, Janet. We had kept up with each other over the years and she mentioned that Dick was widowed and that I should look him up. So, I did and we had dinner together as old friends after 52 years. The waiter thought we were a couple, but we insisted we were just friends. Twice a year when I went to visit my daughters in DC, I would let him know when I was coming.”

“Finally in June 2015, I went to his son’s wedding in Baltimore and a spark was ignited. Dick came to visit me in Southern California, got down on one knee and proposed. Everyone was shocked at the news: family, friends alike. After 36 years of being single, I decided to marry Dick. Now the next chapter of our journey begins with new adventures ahead and “merging” our families and lives together.”

From all of us at the UC Irvine Diabetes Center, we thank you for your sincere generosity and congratulate you on your new chapter!


Donate to the UC Irvine Diabetes Center

Members of the community have been very supportive of our efforts to provide the best diabetes-related treatment available, and it is with your generosity that we will continue to further our mission to find a cure for diabetes. We hope you will join us in this quest.

Learn more about how you can make a donation in support of our research programs at the center.

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