BROWN COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - A Brown County man in his golden years recently married a woman he calls 'the love of his life'. The pair fell in love while each was undergoing cancer treatment.
It's a love story that reads like a script from Hollywood.
Larry Hazelwood, a 76-year-old from Blanchester, was undergoing cancer treatment when he met an 83-year-old widow, Pauline Ball, who was also undergoing cancer treatment.
Hazelwood says Pauline took his breath away.
"She's the best thing that ever happened to me, that's all I can say."
Hazelwood met Pauline during one of his treatments for colon cancer at the Oncology and Hematology Care of Cincinnati. Pauline was being treated for leukemia.
Larry says it was love at first sight.
"The first time I seen her was January 28 this year, and I just seen her, and I told my daughter, I said I was going to ask her for a date."
And so it began. The two started dating, then one day Pauline went to visit Larry at his home in Blanchester and never left.
However, Pauline said just living together didn't sit well with her.
"I didn't really like the idea of living here and not being married," she explained.
On May 30, the couple sneaked away from family and friends and eloped at a nearby church.
"I think I pushed him into getting married... Didn't I, a little bit?" Pauline turned to ask Larry. "No you didn't push me. It just made sense," he said.
Larry says true love conquers all, including cancer.
"You don't put your love life on hold. If you got the disease, there's nothing you can do about it," he explained. "You do the best you can and go forward and try to make yourself happy and other people happy. That's the whole thing about it, is your attitude toward yourself and your disease."
Larry and Pauline say their quality of life has improved immensely since they met each other, and they're living proof that no matter what you have to endure, love makes it better.
A recent study conducted by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research indicates that close relationships can actually better help cancer patients deal with pain and physical symptoms.