Proposal made possible because of medical advances - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Proposal made possible because of medical advances

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Dale proposed to Ashley on Wednesday. Dale proposed to Ashley on Wednesday.
Dr. Rodriguez Valdes Dr. Rodriguez Valdes
Cake was set-up for the hospital room celebration. Cake was set-up for the hospital room celebration.
Dale and Ashley with their son Dale III. Dale and Ashley with their son Dale III.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Each girl dreams of her special day. For Ashley Jewell the moment Dale Monteith, Junior popped the question only started a day she's been dreaming of for a long time.

Dale knew that Wednesday was the day that would change both of their lives. The proposal was just part of it.

"I'm about to have my transplant in a couple hours and it's a special day for everybody and I wanted to make it extra special for her for always being here," he said.

For one and a half years Dale has been fighting leukemia with Ashley by his side.

"When he found out, they said it wasn't great," Ashley said. "So every day even waking up together, seeing it as a journey."

"She's been right here every second," said Dale. "You can't get that nowadays. She just made me easy to love her."

So on Friday, when Dale told his transplant nurses he wanted to propose, they started talking, collecting money, buying the ring and the cake, arranging the surprise, all for one reward.

"Seeing him smile is the only thing I want," said Bone Marrow Transplant Unit nurse Melissa Pritchett. "I give him so many drugs that make him not smile, every single day and seeing him smile is worth everything."

It's a smile that doctors weren't always sure had a future.

"We were really running out of options for him," said Dale's oncologist, Dr. Cesar Rodriguez Valdes.

One and a half years of treatments hadn't beat back the cancer, but Dale had a reason to fight.

"I just take it head on like I do anything in life, really," he said. "I got a son to look after."

He's nine month old Dale, III.  His parents call him "Man." Ashley said her baby wasn't planned, they weren't ready, but they think there's a reason he's here.

"If it wasn't for him, I don't know how far (Dale would) want to push to get through it," she said.

Each treatment helped Dale hold on a little longer until April, when a new drug to the market, finally put Dale in remission and made a bone marrow transplant possible.

"This is kind of like a booster to help that remission be a long lasting remission," Dr. Rodriguez Valdes said.

It's allowing Dale and Ashley to now plan for the future.

"It's been hard," said Ashley. "It's been so hard and I'm so, so glad this day finally came because a lot of people don't even get this."    

Dr. Rodriguez Valdes said the bone marrow transplant gives Dale the best prognosis he could hope for.

Ashley said they don't know yet when they'll get married but there's no rush because neither she, nor Dale are going anywhere.

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