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Utah couple fights cancer with strong marriage

By Devon Dolan | Posted - Aug. 22, 2013 at 10:39 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — One couple started off their married life battling cancer, but they have fought the illness with a strong marriage and optimism.

Amanda Catano and Jason Dorias got engaged after Amanda was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. During their wedding planning, Amanda weighed only 75 pounds.

"I went on a feeding tube a couple weeks before I got married to gain some weight," Amanda said. "The day before and the day of my wedding was probably the best I had felt in a couple months."

The couple were married December 21, 2012. Since then, the couple said Amanda's health has fluctuated, but Amanda said Jason's commitment to her has helped to keep her strong.

"I don't think I've been strong," Jason said. "I think we've just been doing this together."

When the chemotherapy treatments began making Amanda's hair fall out, Jason and his family decided to shave their heads with her.

"My hair just thinned out to the point that my nephew told me I looked like Smeegle from Lord of the Rings," Amanda said. "We decided to shave it off and order pizza and we did it."

Amanda is currently healthier at 110 pounds and she had enough energy to run her first 5K since her diagnoses. She said she completed the run in memory of another young woman who lost her battle with cancer.

"It felt great in a really horrible way," she said. "I shuffled. I shuffled along."

Amanda is still undergoing chemotherapy treatment. She said she takes a chemotherapy pill daily and receives infusions every three weeks. She's often fatigued, but keeps her sense of humor.

The couple said that laughter, hope and support is their secret to loving in sickness and in health.

"We're in a committed relationship and you just do what you need to do," Jason said.

Amanda said she now has enough energy to exercise more regularly. In addition to running, she has started doing yoga as well. The couple hope to adopt a calm, but playful dog.


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