From fighting cancer to fostering children to loving life
But not long after we graduated, September 21, 2014 to be exact, we got engaged at the best place ever, good ole’ Wrigley Field! We were in the middle of wedding planning when Jon started feeling sick and having sharp pains in his chest. He decided to finally get examined again by another doctor and that is when we got the news on September 28, 2015. He had Stage 2 Bulky Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Of course we were scared, but that didn’t stop us from wanting to spend our future together. We tied the knot on February 27, 2016 and two days later we walked into that cancer treatment center for Jon to start another round of chemotherapy treatment. The following summer we went on our honeymoon and had the absolute best time of our lives. We were ready to get back into a normal lifestyle and routine because making constant trips to the hospital and treatment center sure can take a toll on anyone.
September 21, 2016 we walked into our oncologist’s office in hopes of hearing the news “Jon, you’re cancer free!” because well, all of his specialists and doctors on his team were extremely confident that we were in the clear. But that didn't happen. We were told that Jon’s tumor in his chest actually increased and there is way more activity going on within it (meaning basically cancer cells). Not only that, we were told it was a completely different cancer now. Instead of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Jon had Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. So we started our journey all over again.
After we completed our regimen of chemotherapy treatments, we were admitted into the hospital on December 28, 2016 to begin the mother of all transplants - a Haplo Stem Cell Transplant. Jon’s doctors wanted a transplant to happen since he has had two different types of cancers within a year span. We spent an entire month in the hospital out in Chicago and we sure did grow a lot during that time - mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Finally after 1.5 years later, 2 different cancers, and the stem cell transplant, we reached the finale on March 31, 2017, Jon’s cancer free! Within the three years we’ve been married, we’ve dealt with the utmost of challenges that have turned into the biggest of blessings. Blessings that have showed us at an early age what the true meaning of life is. What it means to have a second chance of life. How utterly important it is to help others, even when they say they don’t need it. And of course, how good our God is.
So this is us. Two people who have experienced some minor hardships but have loved one another throughout them all.
We will never wish for change when it comes to the challenges we’ve been faced. Instead we often ask, “what’s next?”
To be honest, Jon and I were complete opposites in school - he was the so-called “bad boy, jock” and I was the “studious, outgoing girl.” I even had teachers pull me aside in the hallways asking why I was dating JON MONETA!
This is our new challenge. Our new what’s next. Last fall of 2018, Jon and I took the plunge to officially become licensed foster parents. We wanted to open up our home to children who need temporary parents, and we pray one day we will become a permanent parent to one of our foster children.
Whether we are placed with a child for 12 hours, 12 days, or even for a lifetime, our goal is to show these children how loved they are and the grace. Is it hard? Of course. Is it worth it though? 100% yes. But as of right now, we are loving life with our two littles that were placed in our care who have brought so much light and joy into our home. Oh, and craziness. Can’t forget about that part!
our foster journey »
I have gotten asked so many times throughout these past 6 months- "how do you become a licensed foster parent?" Let me first start off by saying it varies state by state! Secondly, this isn't something that can be completed within a month - it takes time, patience, and commitment. Jon and I chose to become licensed...
How to Become a Licensed Foster Parent in The State Of Indiana
read more »