- A couple got married in the hospital where the groom was undergoing treatment for cancer.
- Zach Stroop said he first proposed to Madison Stroop in 2021 after beating cancer.
- “We didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to be able to marry each other,” Madison said.
A Colorado couple had their wedding ceremony at a local hospital where the groom was undergoing treatment for cancer in April.
Zach Stroop, 26, and Madison Stroop, 24, garnered viral attention after posting a TikTok video in August their engagement pictures, Joe Zach was taken in before learning that the cancer he had once fought with had returned. The clip, which also shared Zach’s cancer recovery journey and their hospital marriage, has garnered over 22 million views at the time of writing.
The couple told Insider that they first met in high school in 2015, but they were just friends. They said their romantic relationship began in 2018 when Zach sent Madison a Facebook message asking her to go on a date – the pair attended a Clay Walker concert and became inseparable.
Referring to Zach’s cancer diagnosis, Madison said, “We’ve been together every single day since. I think it was only when we were in the hospital that we parted ways.”
In November 2020, Zach was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (also known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or NHL). this form of cancer originates in the lymph nodes, Especially along the neck, armpits, and groin, and affects lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, that play an important role in immune system function.
If not caught early, it can spread to other organs outside the lymphatic system and becomes more difficult to treat. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2022 approximately 80,470 people will be diagnosed As with NHL, it accounts for about 4% of all cancers, and about 20,250 people will die from it.
After a few tough rounds of chemotherapy, Zach told Insider that he went into remission in March 2021. Two weeks later in April, he proposed to Madison on the beach in Florida.
“He told me that when he was younger, he never believed his teammates — and then he met me,” Madison said.
Zack’s cancer recurrence tested and strengthened the couple’s relationship, he said
During Zach’s first experience with the NHL, Madison said doctors reassured him that while it had a high recurrence rate, the survival rate was also high.
Doctors didn’t anticipate that Zach’s NHL would return in December 2021 and target his central nervous system, something the couple said they were told was rare.
“It was in his thoracic spine and the tumor was growing aggressively,” Madison said. “It was so big that it cut off all the sensations down his chest.”
This repetition, coupled with the already existing Crohn’s disease Diagnosed in 2020, Zach lost all but 112 pounds (he previously weighed 240 pounds), and 10% mobility on his right side.
“I couldn’t shower by myself. I needed help with everything,” Zack said, adding that he also suffered from a perforated bowel that required surgery.
Madison said she became a “24/7 caregiver” for Zach, which taxed “emotionally and physically” but brought them closer together at the same time. Zach said that he lost a lot to cancer, such as sleeping in the same bed, traveling, and because of nerve damage, it was too painful to touch.
“It showed a lot that we were able to overcome all that and our love for each other didn’t change,” he said, noting that it sowed the seeds for a lifelong relationship.
Couple refuses to let cancer ruin each other’s chance to marry
At the peak of their struggle, the couple said they were urged to get married by a social worker: “You guys have lost a lot. Don’t let cancer take you away from your marriage,” Madison told her.
He said he planned his wedding in 48 hours with the Choice Foundation, a charity for young adults living with cancer that funded his ceremony. The charity provided a cake, artificial flowers, decorations and gifts. Madison said that she had bought the wedding dress shortly after getting engaged, but was in a hurry and didn’t have the opportunity to dress it up.
Still, even though the dress was too big for her, she told the insider that it didn’t matter, as the couple “didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to be able to marry each other.”
Madison Said Legal Ceremony happened in april At Presbyterian St. Luke Medical Center. She said nurses would come in on her day to do her hair and makeup, and other medical professionals from the hospital stepped in at her wedding party. While his parents were allowed to appear in person, other friends and family looked on FaceTime due to COVID-19 restrictions to protect patients receiving chemotherapy.
Madison said, “I’m so glad I got the chance to marry the love of my life. There were times I didn’t know if we would be able to do that.” Gave them the strength to move on. “I know he fought so hard for me and that’s a gift I can never repay.”
Zach is now in remission, and gaining weight and strength with each day, the couple say they hope to renew their vows in front of people who couldn’t be with them the first time. They want to return to the beach for the long-awaited honeymoon, but for now, they are just focusing on enjoying being married.