MAHOMET — A newly married couple got news that changed their lives forever. And the husband became his wife’s Angel Among Us.
Macy Slade and Tyler Tester met in 2007. She was a high school freshman. He was a junior.
“Her eyes I think is what kind of got me,” Tyler remembered. “I was just so shocked by how pretty she was.”
Macy said, “All of our friends took bets on how long before we started dating and it was like a week.”
The couple dated for eight and half a years before Tyler decided a family flag football game was the place to make this relationship forever.
“When she turned back around I was on a knee. She said yes.”
300 friends and family watched this young couple as they took their vow to become husband and wife.
“The special moment was our first dance,” said Macy. “I held it together all day and then we had our first dance and I started bawling.”
It wouldn’t be the last time Macy would need Tyler to wipe away tears.
They went on honeymoon but Macy didn’t feel like eating very much the entire time. It didn’t get any better when they got home.
Macy remembered, “At work, I noticed a swollen lymph node on the side of my neck.”
She didn’t think anything of it. Then there were six. Then there were mysterious bruises.
“I was like ‘Tyler, are you beating me up in my sleep?’”
Macy didn’t believe anything was really wrong. Her new husband finally convinced her that she couldn’t wait another minute.
Macy said, “I was like, ‘I’m not going to the ER’. Then I looked over at Tyler and he was looking at me like that and Tyler was like, ‘I think we should go.’”
The test results were life changing. Her white blood cell count critically high and her platelet count was dangerously low.
“I looked at my mom and I looked at Tyler and I was like, ‘Did he just say leukemia?'”
Tyler said, “How serious can this be? What are our lives going to be like after tonight?”
Nothing like they ever could have imagined. One month after their magical wedding, they found themselves at a hospital in Saint Louis so Macy could start cancer treatment.
“He slept on a cot in a hospital for 34 days. Never left my side.”
Tyler was her rock and still is. Each round of chemotherapy is harder physically and mentally than the last.
“Each time it’s gotten worse,” said Macy. “I felt worse. I’ve gotten sick and my body gets more drained.”
Tyler is now in charge of everything around the house. Cooking, cleaning, the pets, and most importantly Macy.
“This is my wife. This is my pride and joy. This is everything to me. This is what I want to do. I want to take care of her.”
He even quit his job working with disabled adults to make sure he wasn’t going to make things worse.
“I used to work in a place where I would be around people constantly and the thought to me of possibly catching some sort of infection or cold and bringing it home. I don’t even want to test that out.”
It’s meant that Tyler can go with Macy to every doctor’s appointment, blood draw, and trip back down to Saint Louis.
“I think a lot when I’m driving and I think hard about everything,” said Tyler. “My life without her really. I don’t know what I would do without her to be honest with you. Nine years and I’m so happy to have every single one of those with with her. Continuing to have many more with her.”
Macy said, “This is a big thing for just one person to go through. It makes it that much easier when you have someone next to you.”
The Testers say leukemia has taught them to not take life for granted. They stopped putting off getting a dog. They’re already making plans for when Macy can travel and they’re going to take those trips they only talked about. The future may be less clear than it was before but there is one thing they both know.
“Anything that comes our way, we will be able to tackle and defeat it in every single way possible. We’re going to be okay. I think we’ll be good.”
There’s a benefit-concert for the Slades at City Center, in Champaign, November 18th, at 7 pm. Tickets are $20/person and raffle tickets are $10/each.
The price includes free food and draft beer from 7 – 8:30 pm. There will be live entertainment, a raffle and silent auction all benefiting Macy Lynn-Marie Tester’s fight!
Tickets can be purchased at I-Power School of Gymnastics, Inc., Rod Sickler Salon and Spa or by calling Dena Bickers Slade.