A married Albuquerque couple should be delighting in their new chapter in life, but instead, one of them is fighting for her life. They received shocking news just days after their wedding.
“The wedding was probably one of the most perfect days we could’ve had,” says James Rodriguez.
It was the day Rodriguez and his new wife, Jacklyn Le, dreamed of. However, something wasn’t quite right leading up to the special moment. “She kind of had a cough and I was like, maybe it’s just asthma or you maybe have allergies or something, but she kind of just played it off,” he says.
That cough turned into a lot of weight loss and it wasn’t just for the wedding. Then, her lymph nodes swelled.
A day after saying “I do,” Jacklyn’s cousin told her something concerning: those symptoms are similar to what she has. “She opened up to Jacklyn about it and she actually had Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well,” says Rodriguez.
By January, doctors at UNM’s Comprehensive Cancer Center officially diagnosed Jacklyn with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. “We just got married. This is the last thing we could’ve expected to happen to us,” says Rodriguez.
At just 25 and 26 years old, this young couple says they knew this was their new battle together.
They started with Jacklyn’s hair as the chemo began to take its toll on her body. “We kind of had a little going hair away party. She invited some of her friends over. I had some of my friends over and we just shaved each other’s heads,” says Rodriguez.
It’s a rough and unexpected start to “happy ever after,” but this couple is determined it will be nothing less than that. “This is definitely going to be a story where Jacklyn comes out on top of this,” he says.
Jacklyn has five months left of chemotherapy, but if her body responds well to the treatment, doctors will switch her to radiation. That is a more targeted and less intense treatment.
The couple has created a GoFundMe page to help with the medical expenses.