Elizabeth Edwards’s Final Joy: Daughter Cate’s Engagement

Cate and Elizabeth Edwards

Courtesy Cate Edwards

12/11/2010 AT 12:00 AM ET

In the days before Elizabeth Edwards’s doctors told her further cancer treatment was futile, daughter Cate gave her mother the happiest news: She was engaged to longtime sweetheart Trevor Upham.

The couple, who met as students at Princeton University, got engaged over Thanksgiving weekend after spending the holiday at the family’s Chapel Hill, N.C., home, and sharing a feast prepared by Cate’s aunt, Nancy Anania.

“Elizabeth was thrilled,” one close friend told PEOPLE Friday night, on the eve of Edwards’s funeral, where Cate, 28, was expected to deliver a eulogy and Upham would serve as pallbearer.


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