When doctors told 18-year-old Chase Smith he had only three to five months to live, he knew how he wanted to spend it ― with his girlfriend Sadie Mills.
Smith was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma when he was 12 years old and has had several relapses since. In April, doctors gave him the grave diagnosis after finding tumors on his lung, shoulder and brain.
Smith felt like he had received a “wake-up call” from God, his dad Brad Smith told CBS News.
Smith and Mills, who’s also 18, had discussed getting married after college, but under the circumstances the two Indiana high school seniors decided to get hitched a little sooner.
On April 29 ― four days after they decided to tie the knot ― they walked down the aisle together ― to a makeshift altar set up in the Mills family driveway.
Smith said the diagnosis wasn’t the main reason he wanted to get married.
“I knew I wanted to marry her well before the cancer returned,” he told “Inside Edition.” “But if you know you have the support from your loved ones and you can do it financially and you truly know what you want … Why wait?”
The couple, who attended different high schools, started dating in December after they met at a swim meet.
The connection was immediate, so much so that Mills could finish sentences Smith started. When he mentioned he was terminally ill and what that meant to their relationship, she interrupted.
“I know exactly what you’re going to say,” she told him, according to the Indianapolis Star. “I wanted to tell you the same thing tonight.”
The two teens then brought their parents together to discuss their plans.
“I told them how much Sadie had changed my life and how much I loved her, how special she had been to me, the simple fact that there is nobody I’ve been able to open up about my personal life and cancer journey like I’m able to with her,” Smith said. “She is able to calm me down in a lot of scenarios when nobody else can.”
By the time he was through, everyone in the room was crying and Sadie’s father, Jeff Mills, told Chase he and his wife loved and respected him, and appreciated the way he made their daughter happy.
Now, nearly a month after the wedding, the newlyweds are getting used to married life and the realities of medical treatment.
Smith is receiving palliative radiation treatments and will soon start chemotherapy, according to CBS News. He is getting monthly infusions to help with bone density.
The two are living in his parents’ home.
“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,” Brad Smith told CBS News.
Though his situation remains grave, doctors have given Smith a better prognosis, according to “Inside Edition.”
“We’re not giving up hope because we have God and anything is possible through him,” Chase told the show.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with Smith’s medical bills.