Kris Shook and Heather Karl have bigger challenges than most as they approach marriage. As the couple goes forward with their wedding this Saturday, Shook is completing five of his six rounds of chemotherapy for stage-four cancer.
The met two years ago, when Shook was a healthy, competitive fitness consultant. He came over to help Karl move - but it was actually a setup. And it worked. The two began dating. Shook proposed on a gondola at Crystal Mountain Resort in Mount Rainier National Park. The two started a real estate business together.
And then, a visit to the doctor brought a diagnosis.
"They told me not only do I have stage-four lymphoma, I have two different kinds of lymphoma," Shook told local news station King 5. Three months before they were to tie the knot, the two decided to keep planning for the wedding - and their future together.
"He's my best friend. He's the sweetest man in the world," the bride-to-be told King 5 at their north Tacoma home. "I can't imagine my life without him."
In the meantime, the couple is fighting cancer - and medical bills. "It was over $52,000 and that was just the beginning," Karl told King 5.
The bride is saving money by making her own dress, invitations, and even the wine.
To help out, a fundraising webpage was set up on GoFundMe. With the title "Cancer Can't Stop This Wedding," the page urges donors to give for the event.
So far, over $3,400 has been raised for the couple. But people have also volunteered other services.
Annie Cheng wrote, "If you don't already have a hair stylist I'd love to donate my time to help the bride get ready."
Monika Newbold posted, "I also have a wedding dress that you can have if you want it. It is a beautiful dress."
"I have plenty of time on my hands and am very crafty," Risa Braniger Peters offered.
As the two get ready for a future together, it is an uncertain one.
"As positive as I am every day about beating cancer, it does cross my mind from time to time. The what-ifs, am I gonna pull through," said Shook.
For now, the two can appreciate the love pouring in for the happy - and determined - couple. The two will find out the results of Shook's chemo treatment in September, when they plan to have their honeymoon.
"Thank you all so very much," Karl wrote on their GoFundMe webpage. "What a blessing," she added.