I met Chris sometime around 1999. He was friends with my sister, Dawn first. They met in an art class at college and became fast friends. He spent a lot of time that year hanging out with Dawn and her roommates at her house. Then Dawn got sick, again. She had already fought leukemia once, and had gone into remission, but she relapsed. I was living in Bozeman, Montana at the time going to college. I drove the six hour trip every weekend that year to visit her and my mom (who was staying at the hospital with her). At the end of that year (I don’t remember the exact month, that part of my life was basically a blur), Dawn was accepted for an experimental treatment at the hospital in Iowa City, IA. The treatment didn’t work, so they decided to do a bone marrow transplant. She did not go into remission, so they decided to send her back to Idaho with a 7% chance of survival.
That’s when I decided to pack my bags, leave Bozeman, and move to Idaho. I thought it was going to be temporary. I thought I was going to be spending a few weeks with my family. I didn’t know that Idaho was going to become my home for the next eleven years and counting. I didn’t know that I would meet my new best friend and future husband in a hospital room of all places.
So anyway, when Dawn got back to Idaho, the doctors said it wasn’t looking good. They decided to give her a bag of her T cells that were harvested prior to the bone marrow transplant. For some reason, by some miracle, the T cells put her into remission. The doctors are still scratching their heads about it eleven years later. Dawn is now a cancer survivor, and still lives in the same town as Chris and I.
During the long days of sitting in Dawn’s room, I met Chris. He was one of her friends that visited every, single day. He and I started hanging out. At first, it was to drive to Roger’s for ice cream. Soon, we were hanging out all the time at Dawn’s house with her roommates. Then, we started planning camping trips, and we were hanging out every day. I grew to love his dog, Timber, and I fell in love with Granny Ruth instantly. I don’t know exactly when we started having feelings for each other, but soon we started telling people we were dating. Then, about three months later, we were engaged. We got married at my parent’s ranch in Montana on June 15th, 2002. We have had good days and bad days, but the important this is that we’re still in this together.