For most couples, exchanging vows promising to stand by their spouse through sickness and health as long as they both shall live is a beautiful, symbolic way of announcing their devotion.
But for Chase Smith and Sadie Mills, it is their heartbreaking reality. Smith, an Indiana high school senior, and Mills decided to tie the knot after just six months of dating after Smith was told by doctors that he only had three to five months to live, reports People.
The nationally-ranked high school swimmer was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that most often occurs in and around the bones, when he was 12 years old. Despite his health problems, Smith excelled in athletics, and his passion for swimming is what brought him together with Mills, a swimmer at another high school.
After seeing Mills at a swim meet, Smith asked for her phone number and texted her the next day. He had two swim meets and his SATS that weekend, so he told Mills he didn’t know if it was a good time to go on a date. "If you're really interested, you'll find time," Mills told him, and the two had their first date on her parents’ driveway.
Their relationship quickly became serious, and though the teens talked about one day getting married, the plan always involved going away to college together first. However, when Smith received his latest diagnosis, the wedding plans quickly shifted and they coordinated a wedding in four days, exchanging vows on April 29 on the spot where they had their first date.
Their families gave the young couple their blessing immediately upon hearing their plans. "He said, 'I can tell in your demeanor that you're going to marry Sadie one day,'" Smith told The Indy Star about his father’s reaction. "'I want you to know if that's going through your mind right now, your mom and I support you 110 percent.'"
Smith has a GoFundMe page set up on his behalf to help with medical expenses, but he says that he is choosing to focus on the present and to spend however much time he has left living life to the fullest alongside Mills, who shared that “now, he is all that matters to me.”
"We definitely were thinking about getting married in the future and we knew we wanted to," said Smith. "A lot of people do say, 'Oh they're getting married because he has a potential to pass away soon,' and that's not at all why we decided to get married. It was more of just a wake-up call that, 'Hey, God wants you two together.'"