When cancer strikes, it changes your whole outlook on life. Just hearing the word “cancer” has the potential to raise the hairs in the back of your neck, and for good reason. It takes a lot of courage and strength to deal with this disease. And when it affects someone you love, it’s even worse. But nothing can be as earth-shattering as learning that you have cancer as a young child. No one knows this better than Joel and Linsdey Alsup. The now married couple had survived childhood cancer as kids, which lead to an incredible friendship. As time went by, that friendship turned into the mother of all love stories.She was being given a tour of the area more than 14 years ago. As life would have it, Linsdey ended up making her way through the pediatric treatment facility, where someone was waiting to meet her. She was already familiar with this person, but she had no clue where this little meeting would end up taking her.
At this point, Lindsey had been married for a few months. Suddenly, she was led to a tiny conference room, where she was introduced to someone she still held dear to her heart: Joel Alsup, whom she had previously met in 1993.
Still, she had fond memories of Joel. “I remember having a huge crush on him as kids,” she said. But it was a tragedy that led to their incredible bond. In 1991, 10-year-old Lindsey discovered she was suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Joel Alsup, on the other hand, had just been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and ended up having his arm amputated as a result of it. They were both struggling to come to terms with their health situation.
And he was thrilled to see her again, but he wasn’t one with words. Joel thought she was really beautiful back in the day, “I was an extremely shy 13-year-old who was afraid to talk to her,” he recalled. The two even attended high school together, and as you can imagine, they lost touch after graduation. Still, Lindsey held on to his memory. She had a crush on Joel since forever! Plus, she had no idea that Joel actually felt the same way, so neither one of them made a move.
Joel ended up graduating from college, and Lindsey did as well, but her main focus was her family and her husband. She was married to her first husband for over a decade, but the two ended up splitting up. The divorce prompted Lindsey to focus on her career, so she got back on the horse and finally followed her dream of working at St. Jude, the hospital that actually saved her life when she was a child.
Joel volunteered from time to time at the hospital, so inevitably, these two would end up meeting, even if no one had introduced them. The second they laid eyes on each other, sparks flew. They reconnected and soon enough, they were head over heels in love. Joel even met Linsdey’s daughter, and the three of them started spending quality time together. Their bond would prove to be unbreakable, too. Joel quickly realized she was the one and proposed.
Not even cancer was able to separate these two. Everyone who knew the couple was beyond thrilled for them, as it had taken them a really long time to find each other once again.
Emotions were raw when the loving couple said their vows in a moving wedding. But Lindsay feels someone, (or something) other than life brought them together. “Thanks to St. Jude, I was lucky enough to marry the love of my life, my best friend,” she told The New York Times.
They monitor their health every 5 years to make sure they stay in check, so they’re now finally able to live their happily ever after. Still, they’re not just focusing on their future. They want to help patients who need care at St. Jude. “Joel and I desire to give these patients the love and care that was given to us at their age,” Lindsay said. Joel on the other hand, feels pretty privileged to be working in the creative media services division at the hospital that literally gave him life. “Coming back to a place that’s so dear to our hearts has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” he added.