PANORA, Iowa — Once in sickness, once in health.
An Iowa man showed the world the meaning of that vow when he “re-proposed” to his wife of 26 years following her mastectomy.
Lora Koch, 54, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of February and underwent a bilateral mastectomy several weeks later, according to a post on the Love What Matters Facebook page. While doctors caught her cancer early enough to give her a good prognosis, Koch wasn’t feeling her best, People reported.
A week after her surgery, Koch’s husband Jim came up with the perfect way to lift her spirits. Koch’s original wedding ring no longer fit her well, so with the help of the couple’s daughter Christin, he had a jeweler craft a new ring using the diamonds from her original band, ABC News reported.
“I’ve known Lora as the most selfless person that I know and as she was going through this rough patch, I really wanted to give a sign and a reminder of love and commitment,” he told ABC.
He surprised his wife by dropping to one knee as she was resting in a chair at their home. Christin watched and snapped a few photos of the heartwarming exchange.
“(My dad) started saying, I love you no matter what, in sickness and in health,” she told ABC News. “I really liked being able to witness it. I’ve always known they had a strong relationship, and seeing it in front of my own eyes was really cool.”
Lora was shocked and moved by her husband’s romantic gesture.
“It was a huge surprise when he came in and got down on his knee,” she told Today. “I had just a flood of tears from that … from the reassurance.”
Christin posted photos of the proposal to her Twitter account and it didn’t take long before her parents’ love story generated hundreds of likes and comments from friends and strangers alike.
My mom is currently recovering from breast cancer surgery & my dad bought her a new wedding ring & reproposed to her & im crying pic.twitter.com/OOEmB7bHC2— Christin Koch (@christinkoch2) March 1, 2017
“Blessings from Sweden,” wrote one commenter. “Love is the strongest force known to man.”
“This is what true love looks like,” wrote another. “Thank you for sharing.”
Christin’s post was picked up by Love What Matters, and as of Wednesday night that Facebook post had more than 23,000 likes and 1,100 shares.
“My parents have something special,” Christin told People. “It’s touching to see that after 26 years. Dad is still showing mom that he loves her so much.”
While this second proposal was a little different than the first — Jim asked Lora to marry her on a moonlight boat ride, the couple told Today — it was perhaps even more meaningful.
Lora says her husband’s love will help get her through the reconstructive surgeries ahead, along with anything else life throws at them.
“Cancer can maybe change your life, but I knew one thing that would never change was the love of my husband and my family, and it was that great, big reassurance that somehow everything would be OK,” she told ABC News.