Cancer patient proposes after experimental treatment gives new life

Published On: May 23 2013 07:31:49 AM HST

A heartwarming and surprising proposal in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit of University Hospital gives new meaning to the phrase "love conquers all."

View images from the proposal

Former Ballard High School basketball star Dale Monteith is fighting an aggressive cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia.

Despite five failed chemotherapies, Monteith still believes love heals.

Monteith, 25, surprised his girlfriend of three years by popping the question in front of the nursing staff, who helped raise the money to make it all happen: the ring, cake and bubbly included.

"Whether it be a family member, a best friend, the love of their life, it's so important for them to have that. You see them do so much better," said Melissa Pritchett.

Going undiagnosed for five years, the last three for Monteith have been fighting to survive one of the most aggressive leukemias. Through it all, Ashley Jewell has been by his side.

Thanks to an experimental chemotherapy treatment just approved by the FDA and a donor match found in Europe, Monteith recently got another chance and with it, a new inspiration to carry on with life with a new wife.

"And she's been right here every second, so you can't get that now a days, so she just made it easy to love her," he said.

While Jewell, 21, was excited about the proposal, she's even more thankful for the experimental chemo treatment that sent him into remission.

"It's been so hard. I'm so, so glad this day finally came because a lot of people don't even get this. It takes years and he's been blessed that it came now," she said.

With one final bone marrow transfusion, Monteith's new fight for life begins, giving him another gift, more of a chance to be the loving father to their son, Dale the third.

"I'm glad everybody's here and I'm ready to knock this out real quick," Monteith said.

Because Monteith was in remission before his new treatment, his chances for survival greatly improve.

The couple plans to marry after Jewell finishes school.

The experimental chemotherapy treatment that worked for Monteith is called Ponatinib. The FDA just approved it in December.

Find out more about Ponatinib here.


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