In an act of unconditional love, defensive lineman Ben Pike, is leaving his football career to care for his fiancé battling leukemia. Ashlee Barrett, former basketball player for Toledo, was diagnosed with leukemia last year; her leukemia has returned as of last month. Barrett is currently halfway through her second round of chemotherapy.
Pike truly exhibits his committed love by giving up his position on a Division I football team with a year of eligibility left. Pike will graduate this semester, move to St. Louis in May, see Barrett through a bone marrow transplant, and marry her on June 15th.
Despite his busy schedule, Pike has been there for Barrett through her entire diagnosis. Pike had proposed in 2011, and Barrett was diagnosed for the first time in 2012. Pike made weekly visits to St. Louis to be by Barrett’s side even during his football season.
Some may say that Pike is giving up on his football career, but it is obvious that he is re-focusing his energy, strength, and fight to support his beloved fiancé. Pike admits that he feels helpless, but that he must continue to do what he can. He has no regrets and has been there 100% for his hero and future wife.
Stories like Pike and Barrett’s restore hope to broken hearts that are full of fear during a battle with cancer. Does his story inspire you? Can you fell this same loyalty from your support system? Caregivers, what do you do to stay committed and brave for your loved ones with cancer?