The story of Mike and Nancy began after both lost their spouses and attended CancerCare’s Healing Hearts Family Bereavement Camp in the summer of 2019.
Mike’s late wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, the week after she gave birth to their youngest daughter. In 2018 the cancer returned and she passed away in May of 2019.
After she passed, Mike was looking for a place to donate her wig when Valley Hospital recommended CancerCare. Mike drove to the New Jersey office, where he spoke to CancerCare employee Ariana, who wanted to know a little more about his story. After telling her that he had two daughters at home, 3 and 5 years old, Ariana let him know that there was an opening for the Healing Hearts camp that would take place in just a few weeks. Mike knew this was a great opportunity and decided to take his oldest daughter.
Nancy’s late husband was diagnosed with AML in 2018 and passed away about 5 months later in March 2019. Shortly after his passing, Nancy’s social worker from the hospital sent her information about CancerCare and the Healing Hearts camp, mentioning that it would be a wonderful weekend for her and her girls.
After putting off the camp application for weeks, Nancy finally decided that this was too good of an opportunity for her daughters, who were 5 and 7 years old at the time.
On the first day of the camp in 2019, both Mike and Nancy were stuck in over 8 hours of traffic, each arriving after midnight. They both remember how kind the CancerCare staff was to wait up for them and have some hot food ready.
While Mike and Nancy connected in the same support group, what truly brought them together was their daughters. Mike’s oldest daughter, who was 5 at the time, immediately took to Nancy’s daughters, opening up to them about her mother. This was something she had not done before and the girls quickly became inseparable.
Mike and Nancy decided to reunite after the camp to finish their own conversations about their losses, as well as set up playdates with the girls. Soon, the families became extremely close, but dating was not on either of their minds. Their romance happened by complete chance.
In August of 2020, Mike and Nancy got married in a small ceremony with their families. Now a family of 6, their 4 daughters mean everything to them. “They’re the best girls in the world,” says Mike. Nancy mentions, “They give us purpose in life.”
Both love talking about the organization and how the Healing Hearts camp brought them to one another by chance after such incredible losses. “We are eternally grateful to CancerCare for bringing our family together.”
In 2021, Mike and Nancy’s daughters submitted a story about their family to Sing Me A Story, which turns children’s stories into original songs. Watch the video below to see the girls hearing their song for the first time!