Chase Smith’s looming de.ath did not stop him from marrying the love of his life.
The terminally ill Indiana high school senior melted hearts nationwide after he wed his girlfriend upon learning that he had only months to live.
Smith, 18, had reportedly been talking about tying the knot with Sadie Mills for some time, but decided to make it official due to his tragic prognosis, reports the Indy Star.
“He is all that matters to me,” says Mills, 18, who wed Smith on the same spot on her parents’ driveway where they exchanged their first kiss six months ago. The Indian Creek High School student reportedly broke down in tears upon seeing his future wife, who goes to Mooresville High School, in her wedding gown.
It had been a whirlwind romance for the two seniors, who hit it off during a swim meet between their rival schools late last year.
“I thought she was pretty cute,” says Smith, who reportedly called Mills over to talk and then asked for her phone number.
At first, the nationally ranked swimmer didn’t know if he’d have the time for their first date due to his busy schedule of swim meets and SATs. However, Smith changed his tune after Mills told him, “If you’re really interested, you’ll find time.”
Since then, the two high school sweethearts have been inseparable, going everywhere from church to the movies together, reports the Indy Star.
“We just fell in love with each other’s personality,” says Mills, who calls her beau a “good Christian boy.”
It wasn’t just a case of puppy love. The blossoming lovebirds planned to marry after college — something they discussed during deep, hours-long conversations on the couch.
Then, tragedy struck. The bone cancer that Smith had been battling since he was 12 returned with a fury in April, with tumors flaring up everywhere from his lung and hip to his skull and the lining of his brain, causing severe headaches. The prognosis was three to five months, with or without treatment.
“Ewing’s [sarcoma] is extremely aggressive, extremely brutal,” his mom, Kelli Smith, tells the Indy Star of the rare cancer strain, which afflicts mainly children and young adults, according to WebMD. “He has fought a big fight, but he is tired.”
Knowing his time was fleeting, Smith decided to marry his sweetheart right away.
After receiving their parents’ blessings, the lovebirds planned the event in three days, and sealed the deal on April 29 with a kiss, as seen in this moving wedding montage posted on May 8.
Despite the tragic circumstances surrounding the ceremony, Smith described the moment as “pure joy,” a sentiment shared by his new bride.
He said that Mills had allowed him to “open up about my personal life and cancer journey” in a way that no one else could. “She is able to calm me down in a lot of scenarios when nobody else can,” he adds.
The bride’s father, Jeff Mills, posted footage of the wedding to Facebook on May 10 with the caption: “So happy to have this young man and his wonderful family in our lives. Thanks for making my baby girl so happy!”
“You just don’t see love like this,” gushed Smith’s proud mother.
Their marriage made waves outside the family circle as well.
“I’m crying happy tears for you two!” commented one fan under a wedding announcement on the Mooresville diving club’s Facebook page.
“Most people go through life and are never fortunate enough to find love like this,” added another on a repost by Jeff Mills of the wedding video.
A GoFundMe page set up to help pay for Smith’s cancer treatment has garnered almost $100,000 in contributions as of Tuesday afternoon.
“The precious people in your life, the amount of time they are in your life — take every moment you have,” says Smith. “Enjoy and give everything you can in those relationships.