Couple Married in Face of Rare Cancer Reminds Us What Love Really Is (VIDEOS)

ryan smith and bethany schmidtEvery now and then, a love story comes along that really makes you step back and take a closer look at what you have and what you maybe, unfortunately, take for granted. Ryan Smith and Bethany Schmidt's story, which was featured on The Today Show this week, is one of those stories. (I'm warning you, you might need a BOX of tissues for this one ...)

The couple met when they freshmen at the University of Orgeon in 2005. They were close friends before they started dating, and soon, they realized that they were soulmates. As Betheny told Ryan once, he was her "home." They did everything together -- from attend football games to visit Europe. And when they graduated, they moved in together, sure that some day ... they'd get married

That day came sooner than either had anticipated. 


Ryan developed a form of testicular cancer that manifested itself as a large tumor in his colon. He also had a rare refractory disease, and the cancer couldn't be treated with chemo. Then, seven months after his diagnosis, this past July, he got down on one knee and asked Bethany to be his wife.

Five months later, when doctors said there was nothing more they could do, they decided to set the date. It was a Thursday ... and they planned to married just three days later on Sunday. Amazing. Family members, friends, even strangers helped the couple plan a stunning wedding that was all about their love for one another and of course, their family and friends.

And ... six months after they said "I do," Ryan passed away. That was January 24. And, of course, he is so, so missed.

Bethany told Today that the best way she can describe her current state is "breathing." Although she has faced so much sadness in the past year, it seems she's focused on the love -- from her best friend-turned-husband and their loved ones. She even said, "It makes you realize how much good is in the world, even when something so bad can happen."

Wow. Just ... wow. To have that outlook after such a devastating series of events, Bethany must be an angel. As heartwrenching as their path may have been, this couple is a true inspiration. What they shared and what they did really puts what love, marriage, and a wedding should be in perspective.

Here's a video montage of the couple:

And another that played at Ryan's memorial service:



How inspiring is Ryan and Bethany's love story?

Image via Isaac Schmidt/Vimeo

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