In the 1990s, Joel Alsup and Lindsey Wilkerson were patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital — him with a cartilage tumor, and her with astute lymphoblastic lymphoma. Decades later, the blight survivors accept angry the band at the Memphis, Tennessee, hospital area their accord began.
“I anticipate it’s difficult for us to accept the acceptation of our adventure because, to us, it’s aloof our lives,” Joel tells PEOPLE. “I got to ally the adulation of my life, and I achievement anybody can do that. If there is any acceptation we achievement our adventure has, is that it lets families and kids aggressive blight apperceive that there is activity after.”
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Joel, 38, and 37-year-old Lindsey (now Wilkerson Alsup) wed on Sept. 1 on the St. Jude campus, appearance a anniversary in a adulation adventure that was added than 20 years in the making.
“The bells was amazing! There were lots of blessed tears. To apperceive that aloof a few hundred anxiety from area we said ‘I do’ was actually area our lives were adored meant so much,” Joel gushes.
Lindsey (left) and Joel Alsup
“Lindsey’s primary physician at St. Jude did a reading. Our officiant was our clergyman at St. Jude. It was admirable and amazing to see the bodies and anticipate of the contest that got us to that day.”
Joel was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at 7 years old and underwent chemotherapy afore accepting his appropriate arm amputated. And Lindsey was aloof 10 aback she was diagnosed with leukemia.
During their time at St. Jude, the two then-kids became close, but absent blow as they got earlier — Joel went to academy in Tennessee and Lindsey headed to Arkansas.
From left: Lindsey Alsup and babe Audrey with Joel Alsup and Lindsey’s son Jacob
Courtesy Joel and Lindsey Alsup
Eventually, they both begin their way aback to the abode area they had formed an aboriginal bond. Both began alive with the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), St. Jude’s fundraising and acquaintance organization.
The adulation birds say they anon knew that their accord would about-face into article more.
“I anticipate we consistently acquainted article for anniversary added — it aloof took me always to say something,” Joel says.
Joel Alsup (left)
Courtesy Joel Alsup
Lindsey adds: “I never absurd that my adolescence drove and again best acquaintance would anytime become my husband. We’ve had the absolution of growing up together, award a abysmal and admiring accord that led to award our always adulation in anniversary other. I’m so beholden for every moment with him.”
Now, the Alsups acclaim St. Jude for their activity together, and say they attending advanced to administration their lives as survivors.
“We’re attractive advanced to every moment together,” Joel tells PEOPLE. “From ancestors trips to quiet nights at home, aggregate will be amazing because there was a time aback we our futures weren’t so clear.
He says, “Every day with anniversary added is a gift, and we’re so aflame to see what adventures await!”
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