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Couple Moves up the Wedding Date After Getting Diagnosed With Cancer Within 8 Days of Each Other

Couple Moves up the Wedding Date After Getting Diagnosed With Cancer Within 8 Days of Each Other

"There'll be a little more sickness before the health, but that's alright," groom-to-be said.

Clay Slenk and Mariah Nelesen from Michigan are making the best of their time together. They got engaged on the day after Christmas in 2020 and planned to get married in the upcoming summer. However, after sending out wedding invitations to their family and friends, the couple got diagnosed with cancer within eight days of each other, per KTLA. Slenk said, "We had a long engagement (and) were hoping to get married June 10 of this year." The couple's lives were turned upside down after they each got life-altering phone calls in January.


Nelesen shared, "I got a phone call (on) Jan. 11th of this year that I had ovarian cancer. That's not a call that anyone expects to receive." Slenk, 24, received a phone call a week after Nelesen, he said, "All of a sudden, I got a phone call at like 8 o'clock, and my doctor was like, 'I want you to go to Spectrum right now. I think you have Leukemia.'" The couple has a Caring Bridge page that explains that he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and it, "required immediate treatment and is being followed by a long hospital stay." The page says that Nelesen was diagnosed with adult granulosa cell tumor ovarian cancer. It is, "a low-grade cancer that requires treatment including both surgery and chemotherapy," reports PEOPLE


According to KTLA, Nelesen took efforts to freeze her eggs while Slenk was being treated at a nearby hospital for more than 40 days. Slenk said, "Now, we're into it deep. And it's not just one person, it's both of us." However, he is aiming at keeping an optimistic outlook, "Why be angry? If I'm angry and frustrated and down and negative, all it's going to do is make this day that much worse."


He went on to say that the couple's new wedding date was influenced by an imminent stem cell donation. He shared, "We moved up our wedding date so we could be married during that time. So she would be here to take care of me and we could go through that hard part together." Their diagnosis, according to Nelesen, let them focus on what was genuinely essential. She said, "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." She continued,"(Now), replanning the wedding, 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."


Slenk shared that his wedding vows have changed after the diagnosis, "There'll be a little more sickness before the health, but that's alright." A GoFundMe for the couple has generated over $40,000, allowing them to pay for medical expenses, home payments, lost income, and wedding and honeymoon gifts. The page reads, "'In sickness and in health...' These are familiar words for many couples as they often are spoken on a person's wedding day. However, no one knows these words better than Clay and Mariah. Their steps toward their wedding day and the changes they've needed to make represent a very real commitment to each other and trust in the Lord."

References:

https://ktla.com/news/nationworld/engaged-couple-diagnosed-with-cancer-8-days-apart/

https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/clayslenk

https://people.com/human-interest/engaged-mich-couple-move-up-wedding-date-after-theyre-both-diagnosed-with-cancer-8-days-apart/

https://www.gofundme.com/f/clay-mariahs-cancer-engagement-faith-journey?qid=a3b5cd8a4456a35f591f4b61867f4704

Cover Image Source: GoFundMe