Eighteen-year-old Chase Smith was recently given three to five months to live. He was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma when he was 12 years old and has relapsed several times. In 2019, a tumor was discovered around the teen’s left bronchial tube, and in March this year, his condition worsened.
Tumors were discovered on Chase’s lung, shoulder and brain, and he felt like the devastating prognosis he received was a “wake-up call” from God, his dad, Brad Smith, told CBS News via email.
Chase and his girlfriend, Sadie Mills, had planned to get engaged and married after college, but with only a short amount of time left, the high school seniors decided to tie the knot in late April. “Chase has said – it wasn’t the diagnosis that sparked the wedding; it was the desire to make the most out of the relationships he has each and every day,” Smith said.
The Indiana teens are on competing swim teens. They started dating in December after meeting at a swim meet between Indian Creek High School and Mooresville High School.
Although they’re young, both of their families were extremely excited and happy for their nuptials, Chase’s dad said. So, their families helped them plan a wedding in just four days.
“It truly was a family endeavor – the immediate family on both sides chipped in to do their part, but it was the oldest sisters … that took charge in organizing everything to make the day perfect,” Smith said.
Following the ceremony, the families held a reception – and even though it was planned quickly, all the traditional elements of a wedding were included. Sadie wore a white dress and had bridesmaids, Chase had groomsmen, they cut a wedding cake, had their first dance, and partied with family and friends.
“We have seen how Sadie completes Chase,” Smith said. “During his toast at the reception, Sadie’s dad, Jeff Mills, said that Sadie has never been happier and he was more than elated to welcome Chase into the family.”
When asked how she feels since tying the knot, Sadie’s answer was simple, Smith said. “It feels genuine – this is how God wanted us to be together,” she said.
Chase hopes people take away a simple but important message from their story.
“The precious people in your life, the amount of time they are in your life, take every moment you have,” he said. “Enjoy and give everything you can in those relationships and know there is so much possible with love when your love includes God.”
Chase is currently receiving palliative radiation treatments and will soon start a targeted chemotherapy, his dad said. He is also getting monthly infusions to help with bone density and they are pursuing repurposed drugs to slow or stop the cancer.
While Chase has been busy with treatment, he still gets to see his new bride often. Sadie is now living with the Smith family.
“We have converted Chase’s teenage bedroom into a ‘couple’s retreat’ and taken the adjacent room and made it a living area for them – so they do get to spend every moment together while enduring this part of the journey,” Smith said.
The high school sweethearts-turned-newlyweds may be young, but their love is strong.
“They both want people to realize that the story is real,” Smith said. “They are truly in love with each other with God as their guide. I personally have witnessed them pray together and seek God’s wisdom.”
This article is adapted from CBS News.