Rodney Conradi and Lynse Rainford met in 2010 at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle while they were both being treated for cancer. Rodney, 19, had Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that causes bone tumors. Lynse, 20, had leukemia, the cancer of blood cells.
Rodney and Lynse began dating in 2011. Lynse had finished her chemo and was in remission. Rodney appeared to be turning a corner. “We talked about moving in together and just having a normal life finally,” said Lynsie. “Pretty much through our whole relationship one of us has been sick or we’ve both been sick. We never really had a normal relationship.”
In 2011, Rodney’s cancer came back, more severe than ever. He was admitted to the Yakima Valley Hospital for treatment. Rodney knew he didn’t have much time left on this earth, so he didn’t want to waste it. On Valentine’s Day of 2012, Rodney proposed to Lynse. “He was really, really sick, and he was puking,” said Lynsie. “That’s what made it special; even though he was really sick, he still wanted to do it right.”
Only two days after Rodney proposed to Lynsie, on February 16th, 2012, they were married in the basement of the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. Rodney was barely able to stand and had to walk down the aisle with his IV bag. “He had a goal: ‘I’m going to marry that girl before I die,” said Rodney’s father, Kirk Conradi. “She’s the love of my life. She’s my soul mate.’”
On his wedding night, Rodney’s pain became unbearable, so he was sedated. He spent most of the weeks that followed unconscious, but from time to time he would wake up and reflect on just how happy he was to be married to the love of his life.
About a month after his wedding, on March 11th, 2012, Rodney Conradi died. He was only 21 years-old. He was surrounded by his family and his wife. “It was what they wanted and nothing was going to stop them, no matter how painful it was,” said Emily Conradi, Rodney’s sister. “The power of love was enough to get through.
“It was the best wedding I could ask for,” Lynsie said. “Magical, kind of.”Love is never perfect, but it is still worth fighting for. May Rodney rest in peace.