After both being diagnosed with cancer, an engaged Michigan couple decided that life was too short not to live it to the fullest. They were diagnosed eight days apart.

Turning the scary news into a positive, Clay Slenk, 24, and Mariah Nelesen, 23, announced that they would be changing the date of their wedding so that they could get married as soon as possible.

“We had a long engagement [and] were hoping to get married June 10 of this year,” Clay Slenk told local KTLA reporters. Now, the wedding date has been pushed up to April 9.

Michigan Couple Clay Slenk and Mariah Nelesen's engagement
Michigan Couple Clay Slenk and Mariah Nelesen’s engagement. Photo Credit: GoFundMe

The couple received their life-altering diagnoses this January. They then quickly informed their loved ones and friends that they would be getting married sooner. They had just sent out the save-the-date cards before they were both diagnosed with cancer – Clay with leukemia and Mariah with ovarian cancer.

“I got a phone call Jan. 11th of this year that I had ovarian cancer,” Mariah Nelesen stated. “That’s not a call that anyone expects to receive.”

“All of a sudden, I got a phone call at like 8 o’clock, and my doctor was like, ‘I want you to go to Spectrum right now. I think you have Leukemia.’ “Slenk added, saying that his phone call came just a little over a week later.

Clay Slenk later went to the hospital and learned he had acute myeloid leukemia, which according to his Caring Bridge page “required immediate treatment and is being followed by a long hospital stay.”

He was treated at the local hospital for over 40 days, People reported, and awaits an upcoming stem cell transplant surgery.

“We moved up our wedding date so we could be married during that time so she would be here to take care of me and we could go through that hard part together.”” Clay Slenk explained. “Now, we’re into it deep, and it’s not just one person, it’s both of us.”

His fiancé, Mariah Nelesen, was diagnosed with adult granulosa cell tumor ovarian cancer, according to their Caring Bridge page, “a low-grade cancer that requires treatment including both surgery and chemotherapy.”

Nelesen has already begun the process of freezing her eggs, and the couple appears to be committed to their huge goal: having their wedding.

“I was caught up in planning and excited for all the little details, like the venue we were going to be at and the food that we were going to have,” she said. “(Now), replanning the wedding, I’ve just thrown all of that out the window. It’s going to be a special day no matter what and we’re going to have burgers and brats on the grill.”

A GoFundMe page set up for the Michigan couple has since raised over $45,584, nearly twice as much as their original $25,000 goal.

“Not only did Clay and Mariah face conversations regarding rigorous cancer treatment plans for both, but they have also faced many other decisions most couples do not ever need to experience in a lifetime of marriage,” the GoFundMe page read. “They determined it was best to change the wedding venue, guest list, and all other details to go forward with it as an intimate celebration due to their compromised immune systems.”

Still, the Michigan couple remains optimistic and is trying to keep their heads held high through the troubling times.

“If I’m angry and frustrated and down and negative, all it’s going to do is make this day that much worse,” Clay Slenk added. “It won’t be easy going forward, but we know that it’ll be more meaningful to go through it together.”

The groom also joked about having to change their wedding vows, saying, “There’ll be a little more sickness before the health, but that’s alright.”