There's something about wedding vows that speak of the deep love we feel when we find our life partner–no matter how long or short our time is, and this sweet story tells of a cancer patient who gets married in the hospital The groom was fighting stage four cancer gets married in the hospital and then the doctors have amazing news.
I imagine the vows, ‘Til death do us part,' took on a precious new meaning for Zack and Madison Stroup. Zach had been fighting Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Crohn’s disease. Zach and Madison started out in life like many couples do. They met each other in high school, and a few years later, they found love.
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The couple thought they had the whole world at their feet as they began to build a life and future together. Zach was a bodybuilder and insurance agent, while Madison became a hairstylist.
Couple Receives Terrible News
A couple of years into dating, Zach suddenly began to not feel like himself. Two days later, he learned he had Crohn's disease. The couple took the diagnosis in stride and attempted to get a handle on it. Despite the medical treatment, his health continued to decline until he was a shadow of what he once was. He had lost so much weight and was in a lot of pain.
One night, he was awakened with sharp chest pains and a fever. Madison rushed him to the hospital, where they received news that obliterated their future together.
"Cancer never crossed our minds, being 22 and 24 years old. The doctor came in, and he looked like he had just seen a ghost … He told us, ‘I believe you have cancer.’ It felt like the walls were closing in," Madison said.
The couple then received a death sentence when Zach was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Suddenly their future was so dark, and they knew they would be walking through the shadow of the valley of death with no hope. Yet, the couple refused to believe there was no hope and ultimately decided to fight for what little life they had left together.
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During the nine months that Zach was in the hospital, it was a roller coaster ride. He would go through rounds of treatments before he went into remission, but then a few months later, he learned the cancer had come back with a vengeance.
Cancer Patient Gets Married In Hospital
It had spread to the spine and brain. One evening Zach felt even worse than usual, and thankfully a nurse insisted on a CT scan, where they learned he had a perforated bowel and needed surgery immediately. That nurse saved Zach's life.
Zach had been fighting for months, and he was ready to give up. He didn't know how much more he could take.
"At this point, knowing he had cancer that spread to his brain and then a perforation and chemotherapy on top of it, Zach was depleted," said Madison. "He looked me in the eyes, crying, telling me that he didn't want to fight anymore."
So Madison did only what she could do. She wanted Zach to know how much she loved him. She canceled their wedding that was set months into the future and planned a wedding in forty-eight hours.
Thanks to her hospital family, nurses came in on their day off to get this precious bride ready where she walked down the hospital hall to say, "I love you for better or worse, in sickness and in health," to the man of her dreams.
It was what Zach needed to give him hope to fight. "I was pretty tapped out at that point. ... Our wedding definitely gave me a lot of positivity and hope. I had pretty much given up on myself, but I still wanted to fight for Maddy, and that's what I did.”
A Surprise Miracle
Through God's miraculous healing, Zach became healthy enough for a bone marrow transplant. Later, the couple learned Zach's cancer had gone into remission. Now that he is healthy enough to go home, the couple is learning just how precious life is as they relish the little things like waking up in bed next to each other.
After such a dark and difficult journey where hope was a fragile but vital part of living, the couple decided to share their story to give others in their shoes a heaping dose of faith to fight with all the strength they have.
"We wanted to inspire other people who are going through similar situations - whether it's cancer or depression or other challenging things - to keep fighting because you never know what's behind the next door," Madison said.
We pray they keep fighting the good fight of faith, and we hope their story inspires you to keep your eyes on Christ and keep going one day at a time.
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"Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses," 1 Timothy 6:12.
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@madison_stroup #fuckcancer #nonhodkinslymphoma #braincancer#wedding #againstallodds #fighter #insicknessandinhealth #cancersurvivor ♬ drivers license – Olivia Rodrigo
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