Twenty years ago, Joel Alsup and Lindsey Wilkerson were two kids who were fighting for their lives.
At age 11, Joel was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone tumor, in his right arm. Lindsey was 10 when she found out that she had leukemia. Their lives seemed to be crashing down on them, yet as they both struggled through their individual treatment plans, the two formed a tight bond that helped them fight their way towards wellness.
Both Joel and Lindsey beat their cancer, but Joel lost his arm. The pair stayed in contact throughout their teens, but lost touch when they both went off to separate colleges in different states. Yet fate wasn’t finished bringing these two fighters together.
After college, both Joel and Lindsey wound up working together for the American Lebanese Syrian Associate Charities (ALSAC), a fundraising awareness organization for St. Jude.
Miraculously, St. Jude had brought them together once more, and this time it was more than friendship that blossomed from their time together. “I think we always felt something for each other,” Joel said. “It just took me forever to say something.”
Once Joel mustered up the courage to tell Lindsey how he felt, he was delighted to find that she felt the same way.
Joel and Lindsey fell in love, and before long they were planning their wedding day. Their shared connection with and appreciation for the place where they’d first met made the venue decision an easy one. On September 1st, which is also the start of childhood cancer awareness month, Joel and Lindsey came together on the campus of St. Jude to make their love official.
“There were lots of happy tears,” said Joel. “To know that just a few hundred feet from where we said ‘I do’ was literally where our lives were saved meant so much.”
Joel and Lindsay were sure to include the important people who had saved their lives all those years ago.
“Lindsey’s primary physician at St. Jude did a reading. Our officiant was our chaplain at St. Jude. It was beautiful and amazing to see the people and think of the events that got us to that day.”
“I never imagined that my childhood crush and then best friend would ever become my husband,” Lindsey said. “We’ve had the blessing of growing up together, finding a deep and loving friendship that led to finding our forever love in each other. I’m so thankful for every moment with him.”
It seems that some loves truly are meant to be! What a wonderful reminder that something beautiful and life-affirming can always emerge from the most painful and difficult moments of our lives. Congratulations, Joel and Lindsey!
Watch the video below to learn more about his very special couple, and don’t forget to share.