A Tennessee couple tied the knot earlier this month, 25 years after their paths first crossed while they were both patients at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
Joel Alsup, who at 7 years old was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and Lindsey Wilkerson, who at 10 was battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, even chose the hospital as their sacred place to exchange their marriage vows.
“When I met this guy, when I was in treatment, I admired him,” Wilkerson said of her now-husband who had his arm amputated before being declared cancer-free. “I looked up to him, I thought he was such an incredible person. We grew in our friendship over the years.”
The pair lost touch when they went their separate ways for college, but reconnected after they both accepted jobs at St. Jude’s. According to the hospital, Wilkerson, 37, was making the rounds on her first day and instantly recognized Alsup’s smile. The childhood crush that had blossomed between the pair came back to life.
“I was finally brave enough to tell her that I liked her, not only that I loved her,” Alsup, now 38, said, according to Fox 13 Now. “Luckily she felt the same way.”
They settled on Sept. 1 for their wedding date, which marks the first day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and had Brent Powell, a chaplain who met Alsup during his early days of treatment, officiate the ceremony.
The pair had other former patients in their wedding party, and hope that their story helps to inspire others.
“I could have never fathomed that I would be sitting here today at his side as his wife, having the privilege to be married on the grounds of the place that saved our lives,” Wilkerson said.