When They Were Told His Leukemia Had Spread They Planned a Wedding to Celebrate His Life


 ABC News recently featured an article about Isabella Cristobal and Sergio Soto. They decided to get married shortly after learning that Sergio’s cancer had spread and he had only a few weeks to live.

The couple met at a quinceanera in San Francisco when they were students at the same high school. In Latin America, a quinceanera is a celebration of a young girl entering adulthood, typically celebrated with a mass and then a party.

They began dating, but only a short time later Sergio was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a form of preleukemia. Isabella, then his constant companion, remained a devoted caregiver. She was by his side throughout Sergio’s bone marrow transplants, relapses, and chemotherapy treatments.

About MDS

According to the NCI, MDS is a group of cancers whereby immature blood cells found in the bone marrow are unable to grow into normal blood cells. The disease, a type of blood cancer, is rare and usually under-diagnosed. Statistics show that thirty to fifty new cases of MDS are diagnosed every day in the U.S. A stem cell transplant has thus far been the only potential cure for MDS.

Approximately 75% of MDS patients are over the age of sixty but young adults and children can be affected as well. An estimated thirty percent of MDS patients will progress to AML with an average six-year overall survival for low-risk patients. High-risk patients may survive only five months.

Isabella’s Viewpoint

The couple appeared on Good Morning America to discuss their plans. Isabella explained that as they made a decision to marry, she never looked at Sergio as being sick. Instead, she saw him as a confident and extremely positive man who worked through his pain and discomfort. She said Sergio changed the way she looked at life.

Isabella and Sergio also shared their thoughts on social media reminding others to slow down and work things out each day one step at a time.

When they were told that the cancer had spread it had a tremendous impact on the couple.

Even though they had been together for years Isabella felt that a wedding would celebrate their love and inspire others. They wanted a wedding ceremony so their friends and their family could witness their lives and love.

Isabella and Sergio celebrated their love at a ceremony on September 7th, 2021. It was an emotional ceremony attended by an intimate group of family and friends.

Sergio’s message to Isabela was that he loved her and wanted to spend their life together as long as they are able. He told the hosts that he knows Isabella will always be there to help him and that she makes him very happy.

The couple is grateful to the Mission Bay Family House that assists people who have life-threatening illnesses. Local businesses also helped arrange the nuptials at no charge. Mission Bay’s restaurant The Ramp donated food and drinks. Lace & Liberty provided Isabella’s lovely wedding dress while Men’s Wearhouse was responsible for Sergio’s tuxedo.

Isabella told station KGO-TV that as they treasure every moment they have together they also hope that couples going through similar experiences will see their story and be given reassurance that they are not alone. She told the audience to be positive like her husband Sergio taking one day at a time. Sergio added that Isabella is his love and his life and that he wants to be with her forever.


Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia four years ago. He was treated with a methylating agent While he was being treated with a hypomethylating agent, Rose researched investigational drugs being developed to treat relapsed/refractory AML.

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