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Couple fights leukemia together as they celebrate their first anniversary

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Couple fights leukemia together.JPGNewlyweds Harry and Marie Moore have a lot in common.

They both share a strong faith in God, enjoy music and being outdoors, and love to spend time with their families.

They also recently discovered Marie has leukemia, and like Harry, she is a patient at MD Anderson. 

"It's just one more thing we have in common," Marie says.

Cancer couldn't stop their wedding
85-year-old Harry has been battling chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) for 35 years. He met 72-year-old Marie at a retiree luncheon on Oct. 19, 2011.

"It was love at first sight," the couple says.

After a short courtship, the pair planned to marry on February 11, 2012. But, just weeks before the wedding, Harry was admitted to the hospital for nausea and shortness of breath. 

Determined, Harry pushed forward and was released less than 24 hours before the ceremony, which took place at his daughter's house in Montgomery, Texas.

"I was weak. Marie was holding me up," he says, laughing. "But I wasn't going to let anything stop us from taking the next step. Not even cancer."

Marie's chronic myeloid leukemia diagnosis
After two months of newlywed bliss, the couple was hit with another health scare: Marie was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).

She'd been watching her high white blood cell count for some time, and when she went to the doctor for a routine visit, she told him she thought she might have leukemia.

Blood work and a biopsy confirmed her suspicions. "I finally had an answer," she says.

With Harry's encouragement, Marie became a patient at MD Anderson under the care of Jorge Cortes, M.D. "Dr. Cortes is great," Marie says. "He put me on Sprycel, which has only minor side effects -- mostly fatigue."

Another reason to celebrate on their first anniversary

This Valentine's Day is extra special for Harry and Marie. Not only has Harry not been in the hospital all year, but Marie is also currently in remission.

"A day before Thanksgiving, Dr. Cortes' nurse called and said my leukemia was in remission after 6 months of treatment," Marie says. "That made for a great holiday season that has continued to our first anniversary."

Related story

When Harry met Marie

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