Being young and in love is a beautiful feeling. Everything suddenly feels possible, and it seems like nothing can ever stop you from being together forever. Except for something as unplanned and fatal as cancer.
This tale prompts the question: What would you do if your significant other was diagnosed with cancer?
For many unmarried couples who are still figuring out each other in the dating phase, a cancer diagnosis could spell doom for the entire relationship. There’s something about hearing that somebody has been diagnosed with cancer that makes it seem like a death sentence.
It is almost impossible to know for sure how long treatment is needed, and whether the relationship would survive the experience. So, you can probably imagine how Jillian Hanson felt when she found out that she had stage one breast cancer in mid-2017.
It felt like her life had hit the pause button while everyone else’s moved on, and she knew that this diagnosis would affect everything in her life, including her relationship with Max Allegretti, her boyfriend. 
Even more bad news followed the initial one. After successfully removing two of her lymph nodes, Hanson’s doctors found that her cancer was even worse than they had feared. This new development put her at stage two breast cancer, which meant she had to undergo chemotherapy.
Giving your loved on an ‘out’
Seeing the battle ahead with no guarantee of success in sight, she decided to give Allegretti an ‘out’ from their relationship.
“I brought it to the table and told him this was going to be a lot,”Hanson said. She explained to Allegretti that she would understand if he wanted to end the relationship. However, Allegretti was no quitter and, “He told me he would never leave my side, and he never did.” 
The couple had known each other for some time before they began dating. They met in college during their senior year, but it wasn’t until a few years later when Allegretti asked her out to a movie. “I knew he was the one after a month of us dating. I never usually move that fast, but something about him was different,” Hanson wrote.
A few months later, Hanson underwent chemotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and sure enough, Allegretti was at her side every step of the way. He even did his best to keep their romantic spark alive and made it his mission to be her rock and support.
“Even though it was hard for Jill to go out and have energy, I tried to plan little things here and there, surprises, going to the movies… just to normalize the situation,” Allegretti told reporters.
And these acts mean a lot for someone undergoing chemo.
“They tell you how sick you get during treatment, but no one can really prepare you for any of this,” Hanson wrote in a personal essay. “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.” 
A fairytale ending
Fortunately, Hanson was able to fight cancer successfully, and on her last day of chemotherapy, Max proposed to her.
“I was thinking about it for a long time,” Allegretti explained. “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.” 
The glorious moment, which was caught on tape, showed Hanson in her hospital room surrounded by her family and doctors when Allegretti walks in and proposes to her. She was flabbergasted at first, and when she finally replied “yes,” everyone in the room burst into cheers.
“I wasn’t expecting it; he made this big elaborate plan of the day,” Hanson shared. “That was the ultimate high — getting engaged brought great light to me after a really dark spot.”
On Friday, October 18, Jillian Hanson and Max Allegretti walked down the aisle together and promised to love and stand by each other in sickness and in health until death do they part. A situation they had already overcome.
- “‘I wanted a wedding not a funeral’: Bride who was diagnosed with breast cancer just a WEEK before her big day kept it a secret from guests because she ‘didn’t want their pity’.”MSN News. Julia Sidwell, Latoya Gayle For Mailonline. March 8, 2019.
- “Loyal Boyfriend Who Stuck With Girlfriend During Breast Cancer Proposes on Her Last Day of Chemo.” The Epoch Times. Robert Jay Watson. November 13, 2019.
- “She gave him an ‘out’ after her cancer diagnosis. 2 years later, they exchanged vows.” Yahoo News. Danielle Genet. October 22, 2019.
- “Man Proposes To Girlfriend On Her Last Day Of Chemo: “I’m Not Going To Leave Your Side”.”Shared. Naveen A. November 21, 2019.