There’s a reason the phrase “in sickness and in health” is included in the wedding vows that most people take. ❤️ Praying for them both!
Life is unpredictable, so it’s important to have loved ones, no matter what, who will stay with you. But when Andover’s Jillian Hanson, New Jersey was diagnosed with 25-year-old stage 2 breast cancer, she felt she needed to offer another option to her boyfriend Max Allegretti.
After all, while she did not know what was going to happen, it was going to be a painful journey for certain fighting cancer. She gave Max a way out before things got bad.
“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 underwent fertility therapy, plastic surgery, and 16 chemotherapy rounds. Not only that, but he also worked hard to fill in love and romance with their relationship.
He arranged events such as film dates to make life feel more normal and telling her how beautiful she was every day, despite her body being ravaged by treatments.
“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.”
Max decided it was time to begin the next phase of their journey together on Jillian’s final day of chemo. So Max got down on one knee and asked her to marry him with her family and the team of doctors and nurses who helped save her life around them. The room didn’t have a dry eye 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 surgeries ahead to ensure that Jillian’s cancer did not return, during a 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Month event, the couple came across Lauren Grech. Lauren owns LLG Events, a wedding planning agency that donates a lavish wedding once a year free of charge. And she was so moved when she heard the story of Max and Jillian that she chose 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 set up a beautiful wedding for them. And when the day finally came, Max and Jillian celebrated their love, secure in the knowledge that they can get through any challenge – as long as they are in it together.
Jillian said she’s doing better than they were before her cancer, with Max. Instead of bolting out of the difficult situation, Max became an anchor during her health storm that kept Jillian steady. We can all learn from this beautiful couple something or two!