You can sometimes feel helpless if a loved one has cancer. The diagnosis and treatment don’t only affect the patient but the entire family and friends. Cancer patients need their loved ones to support them during their treatment.
Luckily, for Jillian Hanson, that loving person was her boyfriend. He stood by her side, no matter what. On her final day of chemotherapy, he had a special surprise for her.
Her Initial Diagnosis
In July 2017, Hanson found out she had stage 1 breast cancer. She was in her early 20s and she couldn’t believe the shocking news. Everything was up in the air, including her relationship with her boyfriend, Max Allegretti.
Hanson’s doctors removed two of her lymph nodes, but then they discovered her cancer was more severe than they originally thought. She was then diagnosed with stage 2 cancer, and Hanson knew she had to be realistic. She decided to give Allegretti a choice. Cancer treatments were going to take a toll on her and possibly their relationship. If he wanted to walk away from the relationship, Hanson was giving him the option.
Always By Her Side
While Hanson would be upset to end their relationship, she understood if the cancer treatment would be too difficult for Allegretti. However, he never thought of leaving her. Hanson told Good Morning America, “He told me he would never leave my side and he never did.”
Hanson underwent 16 treatments of chemotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Monmouth Hospital (in Middletown, New Jersey), and Allegretti was always by her side. He held her hand during the most difficult days, and he wiped her tears when she was upset. He encouraged her and became her rock.
Hanson shared that Allegretti made a point to tell her how beautiful she was every day, even as her hair thinned and fell out and her skin turned pale. He also tried his best to make her feel special. He commented, “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.”
Throughout the treatments, their relationship became stronger. Eventually, Allegretti planned the biggest surprise of all. It was something Hanson never could have possibly imagined.
A Surprise Proposal
In February 2018, Hanson scheduled her final day of chemotherapy. It was a joyous occasion, but Allegretti decided to make the day even more special. He said, “I was thinking about it for a long time. 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.”
Allegretti surprised Hanson by getting down on one knee and proposing to her. Of course, she was speechless but then finally said yes once she stopped crying. She added, “That was the ultimate high—getting engaged brought great light to me after a really dark spot.”
The proposal video went viral on social media, even almost two years after it first happened. Twitter users shared their comments. One user (@ArvindK41581244) said, “Faith in humanity[is] restored.” Another user (@AyalaGames3) said, “Someone is cutting onions near me.” They aren’t alone.
Planning A Wedding
Hanson still had to undergo other treatments and therapies, so planning a wedding was the last thing on her mind. That’s when Lauren Grech, founder of the wedding planning company LLG Events, contacted the couple. She took care of planning their wedding and on October 18, 2019, the couple tied the knot in an intimate ceremony with family and friends.
“It’s been such a long and painful road, and there have been so many people there for us,” Hanson said. “This wedding is celebrating everything—marriage, life, love, everything.”
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