There’s a reason the words “in sickness and in health” are included in most wedding vows.
Life is unpredictable, so it’s important to have loved ones who will stay by your side no matter what. But when Jillian Hanson of Andover, New Jersey was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at 25 years old, she felt she needed to offer her boyfriend Max Allegretti another option.
After all, even though she didn’t know what would happen, she was certain battling cancer would be a painful journey. So before things got bad, she gave Max a way out.
“I brought it to the table and told him this was going to be a lot,” she said. “But he told me that he would never leave my side, and he never has.”
Instead, Max became her rock, standing by her as she endured fertility treatments, plastic surgery, and 16 rounds of chemotherapy. Not only that, but he also worked hard to fill their relationship with love and romance.
He planned outings like movie dates to make life feel more normal and told her how beautiful she was each and every day, despite the treatments ravaging her body.
“No one can really prepare you for any of this,” Jillian wrote. “He told me that I was the strongest woman he knew and that this whole experience has made him love me more. This hardship made us grow closer together as a couple, and that is exactly why he is my person.”
On Jillian’s final day of chemo, Max decided it was time to begin the next stage of their journey together. So with their family and the team of doctors and nurses who helped save her life around them, Max got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as Jillian said yes!
“I was thinking about it for a long time,” Max said later. “I spoke with her family and friends, and we all decided it would bring a lot more joy, even to the special day it was going to be already.”
With more treatments ahead to ensure Jillian’s cancer didn’t return, the couple happened to run into Lauren Grech during a 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Month event. Lauren runs a wedding planning company called LLG Events that donates a spectacular wedding free of charge once a year. And when she heard Max and Jillian’s story, she was so moved that she selected them to be that couple!
“I wanted to get this girl what she deserves and to feel like every other bride feels on their wedding day,” Lauren said.
So she arranged a beautiful wedding for them. And when the day finally arrived, Max and Jillian celebrated their love, secure in the knowledge that they can weather any storm — as long as they’re together.
Jillian said she and Max are doing even better than they were before her cancer. Instead of bolting from the difficult situation, Max became an anchor that kept Jillian steady during her health storm. We can all learn a thing or two from this beautiful couple!
Watch the video below to see their sweet engagement, and share this story to wish Jillian and Max all the joy in the world!
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