Liz + Lee

The recipients of the 8th annual Wedding Pink, Liz and Lee. They exchanged wedding vows at the Sanctuary Golf Course in Sedalia, Colorado on October 25, 2018.

Liz and Lee Gillenwater .JPG

How as your life been touched by breast cancer?

I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago at age 30. As cancer tends to do, this news tossed a grenade into my then relatively peaceful, healthy and stable life. At the time, I was living and teaching in a small college town, so I soon decided to move to be closer to major hospitals and family. After a difficult year of active treatment, I was ready to move on with my life. What I didn't realize at the time was the long-lasting impact of cancer and the challenge of returning to "normal" life. It took time to adjust to post-cancer life and to figure out how to live fully again - and, as you'll see below, to find love.

Tell us about yourselves:

In Lee's words: Liz is pretty cool. She's a teacher, an amateur chef, and a lover of all animals. She has a huge heart and loves deeply. She cares about her students, her local community and about the planet. She is kind and generous, and always thinks of others first. She also has a sweet orange kitty.

In Liz's words: Lee is a caring, silly, curious guy who loves to explore. He's a cinematographer by trade and works on environmental preservation campaigns. He is a kid at heart who loves legos and the Back to the Future franchise. A native of Tennessee, Lee has traveled the world and has a knack for striking up conversations with strangers. He would do anything for the people that he loves. Things we both like: Cooking tasty meals together. Hiking. Tea. Folk, bluegrass, and funk. Furry animals. Puns. Acts of service. Road trips. Naps.

How did you meet?

Our first date was in October of 2015. We matched on Tinder, and Lee caught my attention by sending me the following pun as an opening line: Q: Have you heard about the corduroy pillows? A: They're making headlines. On our first date, we met after work for dinner at a local wine bar. Lee was cute and nervous and asked a lot of questions, and I knew that I liked him by the time the waiter came by to ask if we wanted another drink. We had to wait weeks to go on a second date because of work trips and conflicting schedules, but we persevered. Two years later, we're still making it work.

A little more information:

Lee and I are so excited to marry each other! We are both in our thirties, and it has taken each of us a long time to find our person. For me, the road to this relationship was marked by my cancer experience, as I was recently single before my diagnosis. I tried to date during and shortly after cancer, but I found that many dates were unwilling or unable to handle the realities of cancer at such a young age. As Lee and I got to know each other, I realized that he could truly see ME-- scars and all. What we have is precious, and we want to share our love and commitment with our friends and family.