When Jillian Hanson was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 25 years old, she felt as though she’d understand if her then-boyfriend, Max Allegretti, didn’t want to stick around.
Hanson, who lives in Woodbridge, New Jersey, was diagnosed 2017. While she didn’t fully know what was ahead, she knew her days would be filled with doctors appointments and procedures, and not as much freedom to do what they wanted.
On the day she was diagnosed, she had a face-to-face conversation with Allegretti.
“I told him I didn't really know what was going to be in store," Hanson told InsideEdition.com. She added that she told her college sweetheart, "‘I don't want you to feel obligated to handle it.'"
But Allegretti knew he was going to stay by her side.
“It was like barely even a discussion,” Hanson added.
Two years later, the pair married.
They stuck out the journey together, with Allegretti attending every chemotherapy that Hanson had at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
“I thought it was going to be very difficult, it was not,” Hanson said. “He told me he felt like he loved me more after this experience. I definitely felt closer to him because he stepped up in a way that you might expect a caregiver.”
On Feb. 28, 2018, Hanson went in for her last day of chemotherapy. Her family and friends were planning a party to celebrate, so she wasn’t surprised when they were there for her last treatment.
She was shocked, though, when Allegretti got down on one knee in a sweet moment captured on video.
“As soon as they pulled my last line out of my arm, that's when I looked over and he surprised me by asking me to marry me,” Hanson said.
The couple had talked about marriage beforehand and knew they wanted to to tie the knot, but Hanson had no idea Allegretti was planning to propose then.
Hanson’s cancer is now in remission, and she gets check-ups every six months.
"Cancer's really difficult, and it's a really difficult journey and it's not made for everybody to stick around and stay,” Hanson said. “I think that it's really awesome when you do find that person.”