Cancer, the terrible “C” word. It carries such a terrible reputation that many refuse to even mention the word.
Unfortunately, the disease continues to torment millions around the globe.
When Tristan Laue enlisted in the Army three years ago, he was looking forward to a long career of service.
But things would soon change.
Laue was medically discharged from the Army in April 2018 after it was found that the young soldier had been diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer.
It is a particular situation people are terrified of: sitting in the doctor’s office and hearing your doctor say the word “cancer.”
Determined to fight the disease, Tristan went on with his life and attended the University of Northern Iowa.
Meanwhile, his relationship with his girlfriend Tianna continued to grow in ways her family never anticipated.
“Talking to my mom … she said, ‘Some people don’t get what you two had in the amount of time, like they’ll be together for years and still not have the same connection that you guys did,’” Tianna told KWWL.
Heartbreakingly, Tristan’s illness continued to grow relentlessly, tearing down the couple’s hope of spending their lives together.
There was nothing he could do about the cancer and Tristan was aware that he would be forced to say goodbye to everyone soon enough.
He then decided to pursue one final wish and proposed to Tianna on Easter Sunday.
All the while, his health was rapidly declining.
The urgent nature of the situation forced Laue’s family to act quickly. The went out to get the help of the local community, and they put together a ceremony just 48 hours after he proposed.
In the backyard of Tristan’s family house, the couple exchanged their vows, becoming Mr. and Mrs. Laue.
Five hours after the ceremony the 20-year-old veteran succumbed to his disease — passing away after a nearly two-year battle.
“He’s the love of my life, and even like talking to my mom and everything, she said some people don’t get what you two had in the amount of time, like they’ll be together for years and still not have the same connection that you guys did”, Mrs. Laue said.
He was laid to rest May 4 in Waverly, Iowa.
His friends put up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a memorial in his honor.
“All proceeds will be going directly to the memorial as well as any funds left over will be going to help his loved ones in any way they need!” the page says.
“Help us remember a great Chickasaw who brought laughter and kindness to us all!”