“A couple who met while undergoing treatment for the same type of cancer have a become viral sensation after sharing their heartwarming story as part of Twitter’s recent ‘how it started/how it’s going‘ trend.
Molly Gorczyca and Ryan Smith tell PEOPLE they never expected to receive such an overwhelmingly positive response to Gorczyca’s Oct. 12 tweet, which showed the progression of their relationship over the last year.
‘I could never have anticipated that,’ Gorczyca, 21, says of her tweet, which has since received over 1 million likes. ‘I feel like, especially when we tell our story, people think there’s no way something good could come out of something so terrible… I think that’s kind of why a lot of people started to like it.’
Adds Smith, 21: ‘Everybody sees cancer as this looming, terrible disease and nothing good comes from it. But if something like our relationship and both of us beating cancer comes from that, it’s kind of like a flower that’s growing between the concrete.’
As demonstrated in Gorczyca’s tweet, their relationship was certainly the silver lining to an unpleasant situation both Gorczyca and Smith found themselves in.
At the end of April 2019, Gorczyca was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow and blood. Four months later, Smith was also diagnosed with AML.
The news came as a shock to Gorczyca and Smith, who were both healthy collegiate athletes prior to their diagnoses.
It was also surprising because AML is considered uncommon before the age of 45 and usually affects adults at an average age of 68, according to the American Cancer Society.
That shared commonality was ultimately what prompted Gorczyca to contact Smith over social media in October 2019 while receiving treatment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
‘A girl from my high school who goes to Ryan’s college retweeted an article about a “basketball warrior battling cancer,”‘ she recalls. ‘I started reading it and learned how Ryan was the same age as me, also a collegiate athlete and was battling the same exact cancer. When I saw that I was like, “I have to reach out.”‘
Though Gorczyca’s tweet included a screenshot — the image shows that she’d texted her friend, ‘there’s a boy my age with the same cancer in the hospital right next to me… imma date him’ — Gorczyca admits ‘it wasn’t a romantic thing at first.’
‘It was more in a joking manner like, “Oh my gosh, he’s so cute and a basketball player and he’s my age… Imagine if I dated him,”‘ she explains. ‘I never thought I would actually end up dating him!’
‘It was more just as a person going through the same thing. I’ve always thought it was a nice thing to reach out to people that I find and offer some support if they need and we can just be there for each other,’ continues Gorczyca, who underwent a successful bone marrow transplant at the end of October 2019.
Smith, who was receiving treatment across the street at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), says he didn’t initially realize that Gorczyca was that close, but the pair quickly developed a friendship. His mom, however, had other ideas.”
View the whole story here: https://people.com/human-interest/couple-who-met-battling-same-cancer-now-dating-molly-gorczyca-ryan-smith/