Man gets cancer early on in his relationship with woman. Eight years later, they finally get married

"It was pretty early in our relationship. Holly remained by my side through all of the early treatments, even though our relationship was still fresh ...I was amazed she didn't decide it was just too much for her to handle and choose to leave."
June 29, 2018 4:37 pm Last Updated: June 29, 2018 4:37 pm

True love can overcome anything: differences in opinion, societal expectations, financial hardships, and even terminal illness.

This is why you’ll never be able to convince me that Eric Genzen and Holly Morey don’t truly love each other. For the past eight years, this couple has been through the ringer but they’ve stuck together through thick and thin.

With a new chapter in their lives opening up, they continued this support and had the community backing them up as well. Wait until you hear what they did!

Eric Genzen has been dating Holly Morey for eight years, seven of which he spent battling cancer.

Posted by Amanda Basteen on Monday, April 30, 2018

Genzen first met Morey back in 2010. Back then they were keeping things relatively casual, just dating and getting to know each other.

In 2011, Genzen received some shocking news: he had cancer. Yet rather than dumping him or avoiding the subject, Morey stayed by his side.

“It was pretty early in our relationship,” Genzen told TODAY. “Holly remained by my side through all of the early treatments, even though our relationship was still fresh …I was amazed she didn’t decide it was just too much for her to handle and choose to leave.”

Their relationship grew, and in 2014, they had a child together. A daughter named Lillian, which added to their family, which also included a few other kids from Genzen’s prior relationship.

Still, it wasn’t all happy times from then on. Shortly after Lillian’s birth, doctors discovered a tumor near Genzen’s carotid artery and windpipe which turned out to be melanoma. Thus began another long string of treatments.

Then, in 2017, Genzen was diagnosed with a brain tumor. That’s when he realized just how much Morey had sacrificed to be with him.

“I began realizing the roller coaster I was on had two seats whether I liked it or not,” he said. “She was fighting for my life as hard as I was, and I was being selfish in not seeing that.”

With that in mind, the couple got engaged that November.

When the couple was engaged to be married in April 2018, the community rallied together to support them.

Posted by Amanda Basteen on Monday, April 30, 2018

With the doctors fairly certain that Genzen would develop another brain tumor, the couple decided not to wait and get married within the next year. The date they chose was about as romantic as you could get.

“Our anniversary is April 28 and it happened to be a Saturday in 2018, so we went with that day,” Morey told TODAY.

While Morey was excited to get married, planning a wedding gave her a lot to manage.

“The stress of Eric’s health is always there, so the stress of planning a wedding on top of that was a lot,” she said.

She contacted her friend Amanda Basteen, who just so happened to be a professional photographer, for help. Basteen spread the couple’s story around and soon other wedding vendors and businesses in the community were volunteering to help.

These donations ranged from videography to cake to makeup for the entire bridal party. They took a lot of weight off of the couple’s shoulders.

Posted by Amanda Basteen on Monday, April 30, 2018

“It’s amazing what we can do as a community when we come together,” Whitney Leighton who runs a local bakery and donated the wedding cake told TODAY.

“Holly and Eric reminded me of how precious life is and how you just never know what could happen — good or bad.”

The final ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa was beautiful. While there was little mention of Genzen’s disease in the ceremony itself, he could still feel the love and support emanating from the community around him.

“It was amazing to see people come out of the blue wanting to donate some of their time and product to help our wedding come together,” he said. “They completed a lesson for my kids that I honestly thought I wouldn’t live to see.”

“…their actions have made a number of people in my family realize how beautiful it is to make time for someone in need. It has left them eager to pay it forward.”

Now, not only is the couple married but they have other exciting news as well.

“We were told that the tumor in his chest that was inoperable was gone and the chemo was working,” said the newly-pronounced Holly Genzen. “We are still watching a tumor in his brain so he isn’t cancer free yet, but hopefully someday.”