This breast cancer survivor got the surprise of her life on the day of her final chemo treatment.
Cancer is a tough disease to fight, but for Jillian Hanson who was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at 25 years old, the process was made easier because she had the support of her boyfriend and rock, Max Allegretti.
When she was diagnosed in July 2017, Jillian had no idea what the future holds for her, but she knew that the coming days wouldn’t be easy. She was certain that she would have to endure a painful journey on her battle with the disease.
Jillian didn’t want to involve Max in whatever difficulty she had to go through, so she offered him 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 of leaving, Max became her biggest supporter. He stood by her through all the fertility treatments, plastic surgery, and 16 rounds of chemo treatment that she had to undergo. Outside of the hospital, Max did even more to keep the romance in their relationship alive.
He planned movie dates to maintain a sense of normalcy in Jil’s life. Max also never forgot to tell her how beautiful she was every single day, despite the physical changes that became evident as Jil went through with her treatments.
“They tell you how sick you get during treatment, but no one can really prepare you for any of this,” Jil wrote. “He took care of me everyday and reminded me how beautiful I was — even as my hair thinned and fell out, and my skin turned white as a ghost.”
On February 28, 2018, her last day of chemo treatment, Max decided that it was the perfect time to ask Jillian an important question – the answer to which would change both of their lives forever.
To begin the next chapter of their journey together, Max got down on one knee and asked Jil to marry him!
In a video of the sweet proposal, Jil is surrounded by her family and the team of doctors and nurses who helped save her life. Max walks in and asks for her hand in marriage. Jil was shocked, and when she said “yes”, the whole room burst into cheers.
“I was thinking about it for a long time,” Max said. “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.”
It was a joyous day, but the couple knew that they had a long way to go. Jil had to undergo additional treatments, tests, and therapy to make sure that the cancer doesn’t return. Planning a wedding – and the financial burden that comes with it – wasn’t something that she could prioritize.
Luckily, the couple was led to a path that would help them achieve their dream wedding.
During a 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Month event, Max and Jil ran into Lauren Grech, founder of wedding planning company LLG Events. The group is known for donating a wedding free of charge to a lucky couple every year. And when Lauren learned about Max and Jil’s incredible love story, she knew that they deserved to have a beautiful wedding – the cost and arrangements for which they wouldn’t need to worry about.
“I wanted to get this girl what she deserves and to feel like every other bride feels on their wedding day,” Lauren said.
Max and Jil tied the knot in October 18, and the day became not only a celebration of love but also of life. The newlyweds knew in their hearts that they could weather any storm as long as they’re by each other’s side.
The pair has an important advice for other couples who are going through a difficult time.
“Be there as much as you can for the other person and keep in mind it’s temporary, and you will get back to who you were,” Max said. “In our case, we came out stronger and better.”
Watch the moment Max asked Jil to be his wife in the video below.
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