This lovely couple had big plans for their wedding day. Unfortunately, they had to prepone the ceremony after they were heartbreakingly diagnosed with the same deadly disease just 8 days apart. A fundraising page has been set up to assist the couple with medical bills, home payments, lost income from hospital stays, surgeries, treatments, recovery, etc. And a gift toward their wedding and honeymoon.
Clay Slenk and Mariah Nelesen, both from Michigan, got engaged a day after Christmas in 2020 and they decided to exchange marital vows this summer.
“We had a long engagement and were hoping to get married June 10 of this year,” revealed 24-year-old Slenk. Unfortunately, both of them received a life-altering diagnosis right after sending out their save-the-dates. “I got a phone call Jan. 11th of this year that I had ovarian cancer. That’s not a call that anyone expects to receive,” Nelesen, 23, told KTLA.
Meanwhile, Slenk received a similar call just days later. “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.'” Per a post on the couple’s Caring Bridge page, Slenk was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia which “required immediate treatment and is being followed by a long hospital stay.”
It also added that Nelesen had adult granulosa cell tumor ovarian cancer, which is “a low-grade cancer that requires treatment including both surgery and chemotherapy.”
While Slenk was treated in a local hospital for over 40 days, his partner took measures to freeze her eggs. “Now, we’re into it deep, person, it’s both of us.”
Despite their situation, the pair have managed to keep their spirits up. “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,” expressed Slenk. Their diagnosis also hasn’t dissuaded them from celebrating their love as they will be tying the knot next month on April 9.
Per Slenk, it is his upcoming stem cell transplant that nudged the couple to set a different wedding date. “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,” he added. Meanwhile, Nelesen explained how their diagnoses actually helped them understand what’s truly important in life.
“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. 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,” she added. “It won’t be easy going forward, but we know that it’ll be more meaningful to go through it together,” shared Slenk who revealed that their wedding bows have since changed.
“There’ll be a little more sickness before the health, but that’s alright,” he noted optimistically. A GoFundMe Page page has been set up to assist the couple with medical bills, home payments, lost income from hospital stays, surgeries, treatments, recovery, etc. And a gift toward their wedding and honeymoon.