Alyssa and Jake

Image 1 of Alyssa and Jake

How We Met

We met junior year of college at Texas State University on a school trip. I fell for him hard and we started dating within a few months of meeting each other. After 8 months of dating, we discovered Jake had non-cancerous tumors in his brain and spine that needed to be removed ASAP. This wasn’t his first time – he’d had surgeries before but Jake had hoped he wouldn’t need anymore after high school.

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We flew to a surgeon across the country on a single day notice and Jake underwent his 5th surgery on December 5th, 2018. Two days after the first surgery, we got the news that he would need another surgery immediately to remove another tumor in his spinal cord.Image 4 of Alyssa and Jake

Image 5 of Alyssa and Jake

After what felt like ages but was really only about a month, Jake got better and we started to plan to go back to normal life. Then, we found out in January of 2019 that Jake would need yet another surgery for a tumor in his brain. On January 7th, 2019, Jake underwent brain surgery yet again.

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Needless to say, going through three terrifying surgeries and a month in the hospital brought us closer together. After that winter break, we were inseparable. A week after we both graduated from college in May 2019, we moved to Chicago together while Jake received training for his job. In January of 2020, we moved to the New York City area to be closer to his family. This past March, we made the decision to stay at his parents’ house in Pennsylvania to be away from the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus (aka NYC).

Image 10 of Alyssa and Jake

How They Asked

Unfortunately, this ruined Jake’s plan of proposing at the airport (where we first met) so instead, on April 10th, he proposed in front of a beautiful dogwood tree in his parents’ front yard. It was perfect. I can’t imagine a better day.

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But then we found out last week that Jake needs another brain surgery next week. Although the timing is not ideal due to the current pandemic, we are doing our best to be brave and optimistic.

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Needless to say, I’m terrified. We all are. I know in my heart of hearts that we’re going to be married someday soon and all of this will be behind us. We both just have to be strong.

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Image 13 of Alyssa and Jake

Special Thanks

Albert Suarez
 | Photographer