Lauren + Matt

Lauren and Matt, the recipients of The Wedding Pink 2016. We shared in their joyous celebration June 2016 in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Matt & Lauren

Matt & Lauren

How has your life been touched by breast cancer?

At the age of 23, my world was shattered when I was told, “you have cancer." I had accidentally discovered a lump but my doctor felt there was nothing to be alarmed about, due to my age. He recommended an ultra sound that came back with no abnormalities. However, over the next 3 months, the lump tripled in size. This led to a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments and ultimately ended with me refusing to leave the doctor’s office until they had completed a biopsy. As the doctor stood over me with the needle, he said that it was “highly unlikely for this to be cancer” because cancer didn't happen to women in their early 20s. Hopes and dreams of my future were put on hold while I underwent chemo, a bi-lateral mastectomy and radiation.

Tell us about yourselves.

I am a Portfolio Manager for a community bank.  I enjoy running, crafting and spending time with my niece and nephew.  Cancer has motivated me to be more active and enjoy the outdoors.

Matt is a firefighter and he enjoys the outdoors. Last year he completed the John Muir Trail, a 210 mile hike from Yosemite to Mount Whitney.

We enjoy camping, traveling, watching baseball and hiking together. When I first met Matt, I told him I would never camp. It took a year for me to consider the idea of sleeping in the wilderness without a shower. Our relationship is the definition of opposites attract. I would describe myself as quiet, reserved and a math lover. Matt on the other hand is outgoing, mechanical and knowledgeable about almost every topic. Matt reminds me to not take life too seriously and makes me live outside of my secure square box. Matt, a hero by trade, is my biggest cheerleader and I could not imagine my life without him. After dating for three years, we are excited to get married and spend the rest of our lives together with our golden retriever, Murphy.

How did you meet?

I met Matt in downtown San Diego when a friend of mine was flirting with his friend (I was the wing woman). We had a great night watching the two love birds bat their eyes at each other. Matt asked for my number as I was walking out the door. Little did I know, he was everything I was looking for.  I remember telling my mom that I didn’t know what was different about this guy, but he was funny and easy to talk to. I realized Matt was the one for me when he called me from the fire station on a Tuesday morning to ask how my doctor’s appointment went. 

Why do you feel that you deserve to be awarded The Wedding Pink 2016?

I cannot say that I deserve the wedding over any other survivor; we each have an incredible story.

The wedding would be an amazing opportunity. It would give me the chance to continue to share my story and raise awareness. I also had a very difficult time dating after diagnosis. I heard it all: I was told I had “baggage,” Moms told their sons not to date me because I “might die” and some men were not okay dating someone who might not be able to have children. Hearing stories of other young survivors who met supportive men gave me hope that there was someone out there for me and Matt is that special person.