In July 2017, then-25-year-old Jillian Hanson was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. According to Huffington Post, the New Jersey native knew how difficult treatment was going to be, and she immediately thought about her boyfriend, Max Allegretti, who she had been dating for three years at that point. Although they were able to remove the cancer from her body, Hanson still had to undergo intensive chemotherapy treatments to ensure it didn’t return.
In an effort to save him from watching her go through all of that, she offered her boyfriend an “out.” “I brought it to the table and told him this was going to be a lot,” she told Good Morning America. Sitting down together, Hanson laid it all out for Allegretti and explained that she didn’t know what to expect with her upcoming cancer battle, but if he couldn’t handle it, she needed to know now.
However, Allegretti wasn’t too keen on going anywhere anytime soon. “I completely disregarded everything she said,” he told Huffington Post. With her loyal boyfriend resolute on staying right by her side, Hanson began intensive chemotherapy treatment in October 2017 at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital.
Understandably, the treatments took a toll on both Hanson and Allegretti, but he stayed true to his word and remained her rock. “They tell you how sick you get during treatment, but no one can really prepare you for any of this,” Hanson revealed in a personal essay. “[Allegretti] took care of me every day and reminded me how beautiful I was — even as my hair thinned and fell out, and my skin turned white as a ghost.” “He told me he would never leave my side,” she continued, “and he never did.”
On Hanson’s last day of chemo, February 28, 2018, Allegretti decided to make it a day she would never forget. He decided he was going to ask her to be his wife. The pair’s friends and family were in on the surprise proposal, as well as the staff at Sloan Kettering who made sure to film the emotional scene so the couple could have that memory for the rest of their lives.
In the video, Allegretti approaches his girlfriend and drops to one knee, presenting her with a ring. “Jillian Hanson, will you marry me?” he asks. “What? Wait no, really?” a visibly shaken Hanson replies as she begins to cry. Finally, she gives her answer: “Yes!” “I was so surprised that he decided to propose on a day that was already so special,” she later told Huffington Post. “It was such an exciting bonus that we were now celebrating two amazing milestones.”
Despite the joy of the proposal and its subsequent vitality, Hanson and Allegretti still had a long road ahead of them before they could officially tie the knot. Hanson still needed additional treatments and tests, and the financial burden of a wedding, combined with the effort of planning one, put their marriage on the back burner. However, one of Hanson’s friends shared the sweet proposal with Lauren Grech, the founder of the wedding planning company LLG Events. Inspired by their story, Grech surprised the couple with the wedding present of a lifetime.
Not only did LLG Events donate their entire wedding planning services, but they also brought together even more free services from other wedding vendors, including a ballroom to host the ceremony, a photographer, a DJ and a hair/makeup artist. Even Hanson’s dress was donated.
On October 18, 2019, Allegretti and Hanson stood up in front of all their friends and family and said “I do.” The couple said they were overwhelmed by the kindness showed to them for their special day. “I wanted to give Jill an amazing wedding and there was no way we could have done it without [LLG Events],” Allegretti told Good Morning America. Hanson added, “It’s been such a long and painful road, and there have been so many people there for us. [This wedding] is celebrating everything — marriage, life, love, everything.”
The video of their proposal quickly went viral and was shared all over the internet, warming people’s hearts with this couple’s touching story.
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