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Couple who met as teens in hospital celebrates first cancer-free Valentine’s Day

A couple from Utah, USA, finally got to experience a Valentine’s Day cancer-free after first meeting in a hospital as teens.

Ricky Stafford and Alexis Gould were both 15 when they were taken to the Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. Gould had neuroblastoma, while Stafford was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014.

Posted by Alexis Gould Stafford on Saturday, October 12, 2019

Gould recalled the day she met her future husband to KUTV in a report on Saturday, Feb. 15. “[The nurse] was like, ‘Oh, have you met Ricky?’ and I was like, ‘No, I don’t think so.’ I was expecting a little kid to come out, and Ricky walked out, and I was like, ‘Oh, he’s cute.’”

The two became friends as they underwent treatment. Stafford said of his impression of her: “She was bald, but she was beautiful. She’s just beautiful and had a really nice spirit about her.”

Hey guys! If you donate just $5 to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society you can help us find a cure! If EVERYONE donated at…

Posted by Alexis Gould Stafford on Saturday, March 31, 2018

When Stafford left the hospital, he went on a Latter-Day Saints mission in Boston and realized he wanted to marry her. However, his cancer returned and he was taken to New York for treatment.

Gould rushed to see him as a surprise. “Once I got there and hugged him, I knew that he was mine,” she said.

Stafford would propose to her in 2018 while he still had cancer. They married in 2019 even if some had cast doubt on the decision.

Alexis (Lex) was taken to Primary Children’s Hospital when she was 15 years old after abdominal pain worsened following…

Posted by Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital on Thursday, February 6, 2020

“Life’s too short to wait. I mean, if you know that you’re supposed to be together, I don’t see the point in waiting,” Gould reasoned.

“There were a lot of people that asked me, ‘What if he dies?’ I always said, ‘Well, what if he doesn’t?’ You always try to look at the positive and never really focus on the what-ifs.”

The couple is now based in Virginia to attend college. Finally last January, Stafford got his last chemotherapy treatment and is cancer-free.

2,000 miles away and she still sent me a first day of school picture- what a lucky mama I am!! I can’t wait to see the…

Posted by Emily Gould on Monday, August 26, 2019

Stafford reflected on their first cancer-free Valentine’s Day, stating, “I think my perspective about what Valentine’s Day stands for has changed over the years. We celebrate being alive, we celebrate having each other.”

A star basketball player in high school, Stafford is playing again in college, Gould’s mother, Emily, said on Facebook in October. Meanwhile, Gould remains strong fighting tumors in her liver, which have so far been benign. Niña V. Guno /ra


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