Couple move up their wedding date after finding out both have cancer
They were high school sweethearts who got engaged in 2020 after five years of dating.
The young couple in the US state of Michigan bought a house, set a date and were busy planning their wedding.
Save-the-dates had already been sent out for June 10 this year when Ms Mariah Nelesen, 23, got a call.
Tests done after she had undergone an ovarian cyst removal showed she had cancer.
That was on Jan 11.
Just eight days later, her fiance, Mr Clay Slenk, 24, also got a call from his doctor, saying he may have leukemia.
Tests confirmed the diagnosis of an aggressive blood cancer. He needed immediate treatment.
Meanwhile, Ms Nelesen was told she would need both surgery and chemotherapy.
Mr Slenk was in hospital for nearly a month and a half.
And he would still need to undergo a stem cell transplant, a procedure that replaces damaged bone marrow with healthy stem cells.
But they would get some time before that, when they decided to hold their wedding, moving it up to April 9.
There would of course be some changes but they were not giving up on what’s really important.
“I was caught up in planning and excited for all the little details, like the venue we were going to be at and the food that we were going to have,” Ms Nelesen was quoted as saying.
“I’ve just thrown all of that out the window. It’s going to be a special day no matter what, and we’re going to have burgers and brats on the grill.”
She was also in the process of freezing her eggs.
Mr Slenk changed his Facebook profile picture, saying: “Mariah bought these shirts after we both were diagnosed with cancer 8 days apart. Orange for my leukemia and teal for her ovarian cancer. This year will not be an easy year, but we are fighters.”
He was changing his wedding vow too, to read in part: “There’ll be a little more sickness before the health, but that’s alright.”