Madison and Zach Stroup crossed paths in high school in 2015, and a few years later, they were officially in a relationship. While deeply in love, they thought they had everything lined up and began to focus on building a beautiful future together.
Zach was an insurance agent and bodybuilder, while Madison worked as a hairstylist. Like any other couple in love, they made plans to travel, work and enjoy life to the fullest. Little did they know what fate had in store for them.
A life changing revelation
In February 2020, the Fort Collins, Colorado couple were on vacation and having a wonderful time, when Zach suddenly started feeling a little unusual. Madison said she complained of joint pain, fatigue and gastrointestinal problems.
The first diagnosis
Zach, who said he had always been healthy and liked bodybuilding and had never been to the doctor, received a painful diagnosis. Two months later, in April 2020, he discovered that he had Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory condition that causes inflammation in the digestive tract.
Madison noted that Zach started his treatment soon after, but his health continued to decline. She said she was in a lot of pain and her weight dropped rapidly.
Another painful discovery
One day in November 2020, Madison said she woke up with stabbing chest pains and a high fever. The couple rushed to the doctor, thinking the medications weren’t working, but Madison said she and Zach were in for a complete surprise.
Nine months after he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, Zach received other heartbreaking news: he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of blood cancer that affects the lymphatic system. A distraught Madison recalled:
The Intensive Treatment
Even more heartbreaking was that the cancer was stage four and had spread to other parts of the body, including Zach’s liver and lungs, Madison added. After six rounds of chemotherapy, Zach’s cancer went into remission in March 2021.
Thinking the worst was behind us, Madison and Zach got engaged in April 2021. But a few months later, the newly engaged couple’s spirits hit an all time low when Zach began to feel lethargic once again.
Madison said she could feel in her bones that something wasn’t right. In November 2021, the Stroups discovered that the cancer had returned and had spread to the spine and brain.
Until death do us part
After several months of intensive chemotherapy sessions and being in the hospital, Madison said she could feel her fiancé was exhausted. She recounted how Zach looked at her with teary eyes and told her that he didn’t want to fight anymore.
At the time, Madison said that she wanted to make the most of her time with Zach. Thereafter, the duo canceled their May 2022 wedding plans and decided to tie the knot at the hospital. Madison recounted:
Gaining hope and positivity
With the help of hospital staff, Maddison was able to plan a small wedding in two days. On April 15, 2022, the couple got married at the hospital. The hospital chaplain, the Rev. Mike Guthrie, solemnized the couple’s wedding.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the couple’s family members were unable to attend the special occasion; however, they had their family from the hospital to support them. Zach, who was about to give up, said the wedding reignited his bad mood and gave him hope.
Sharing your journey
In short videos, Madison documented her and Zach’s journey on her TikTok account. In one of her viral clips, she revealed how she and her then-fiancé had no idea cancer was invading her body while doing their engagement photo shoot. She also said:
After marrying his fiancée, Zach received clearance for a bone marrow transplant in June 2022. Finally, in August 2022, Madison said her husband was told she was in remission.
survive the worst
After living through an incredibly dark and challenging period in their lives, the couple began to focus on enjoying the little joys like making dinner and sleeping together. Madison said her husband’s battle with cancer gave her a new outlook on life.
As of October 2022, the Stroups are back home and taking life one day at a time. They often share snippets of their life on social media, where people send them love and support and get emotional about their incredible strength and love for each other.
We wish this lovely couple countless moments of love and joy, and hope they continue to inspire others with their phenomenal journey. Please keep them in your sincerest prayers.