When eighteen-year-old Chase Smith found out he had only three to five months to live due to a terminal illness, he knew exactly what he had to do. And so, less than a month later, he married his girlfriend, 18-year-old Sadie Mills, in an intimate wedding ceremony with their families and friends. Now the newlyweds are making the most of each precious moment they have together.
Smith was first diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma when he was 12 years old. He’s since battled the diseases off and on, suffering several relapses over the years. Last year, the conditioned returned once again, when doctors found a tumor around his left bronchial tube.
It was also last year that Smith first met Mills at a swim meet between their rival high schools; there was an instant connection.
“I caught a little eye for her,” Smith told Inside Edition of their first encounter. He immediately asked Mills out, and the pair have been dating ever since, with Mills supporting Smith through the difficulties of his illness.
“I told him that it didn’t matter to me and it does not define him as a person,” Mills said. “I fell in love with the person that he is. And I told him that I’d be by his side through it all.”
Smith’s condition worsened through early 2020, and in March doctors informed him that the tumors had spread through his body, leaving him with months to live. That day, his father could tell the main thing on his son’s mind.
“He said, ‘I can tell in your demeanor that you’re going to marry Sadie one day,'” Smith said, according to the Indianapolis Star. “‘I want you to know if that’s going through your mind right now, your mom and I support you 110 percent.”
When Smith went to Mills to pop the question, he discovered the same thought was on her mind.
“I know exactly what you’re going to say,” Mills told him. “I wanted to tell you the same thing tonight.”
Later, the couples’ families had dinner together, where Smith laid bare his feelings for Mills.
“I told them how much Sadie had changed my life and how much I loved her, how special she had been to me, the simple fact that there is nobody I’ve been able to open up about my personal life and cancer journey like I’m able to with her. She is able to calm me down in a lot of scenarios when nobody else can,” Smith said.
With both families in favor of the union, the pair wed four days later on April 29 in front of the Mills house, on the exact spot where Chase and Sadie shared their first kiss. The ceremony was complete with bridesmaids, groomsmen, a wedding cake and a reception afterward.
“It was very small,” Smith told Inside Edition. “We had just our family, a couple family friends, and that’s about it — with the COVID restrictions, we couldn’t invite as many people as we wanted. But we got the people there that we felt like we really need there, and it turned out to be perfect.”
Since the wedding, the pair have been living together in the Smiths’ home.
“We have converted Chase’s teenage bedroom into a ‘couple’s retreat’ and taken the adjacent room and made it a living area for them,” Chase’s father, Brad Smith, told CBS News. “So they do get to spend every moment together while enduring this part of the journey.”
Through it all, the newlyweds are remaining hopeful that they can continue to make the best out of the time they have together.
“We’re not giving up hope because we have God,” Smith told Inside Edition, “and anything is possible through Him.”