Bone marrow donation saves bride battling two types of cancer

November 2, 2012 4:52:23 PM PDT
Imagine planning your wedding, then finding out just weeks before it that you have cancer -- and not just one cancer, but two kinds of it.

It happened to one woman. And while this bride didn't let cancer stop her wedding, it was really a stranger's gift that stopped cancer from robbing anything else.

It wasn't the wedding Ann-Marie Servos planned. Instead of a church, she married her fiance, Nicky, in a hospital chapel just three days after she was diagnosed with two types of leukemia.

"I couldn't imagine not being married to Nicky going through that. And I think Nicky said to me when we were in the hospital that being my fiance in that kind of time just didn't sound like enough," she said. "My thought at that point was if I was gonna die, I was gonna die married to him. And we didn't know what the outcome was gonna be at that point."

"I couldn't go through that just being her fiance, so that's why we decided to move the wedding date up," husband Nicky Servos said.

Among the attendants were nurses, her limo and a wheelchair.

"I wasn't allowed to have flowers. They actually had silk flower arrangements made for us," Ann-Marie said.

But when Ann-Marie walked down the aisle on the arms of her parents, she was confident this was the right thing to do.

"I thought our wedding was amazing. Unfortunately, I was on a lot of morphine at the time, so it's a little hazy for me but the pictures are great," she said.

Ann-Marie started chemotherapy on her wedding night. She spent three months in the hospital for chemotherapy.

Then in October, Ann-Marie got a stem-cell transplant from Gabe Fein, a young doctor from Seattle. She's been cancer free for a year.

"When you realize in life that you really are gonna die and this person saved your life and he didn't even know who you were, it's a really moving, kinda surreal experience," Ann-Marie said.

"I said, 'Thank you for allowing me to marry my best friend.' That's exactly what I told him," Nicky said.

"What people don't understand for many people like me there is no other option," Ann-Marie said.

Ann-Marie Servos is grateful to her donor, for her new life without leukemia and with her husband Nicky.

You can help save a life like Ann-Marie's. Join us during our Month to Match program, and put your name on the "Be The Match" registry.


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