Caylee and Joey Renick grew up having to deal with much more pain and uncertainty than most kids their age. Both were deeply affected by cancer throughout most of their young lives. The couple met when they were only ten years old at Camp His Kids, a camp for children with cancer. At the young age of three, Joey was diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Fortunately, Joey is now in remission and recovering from a bone marrow transplant.
They have always tried to live their lives to the fullest even though cancer repeatedly threatened their lives. Unfortunately, Caylee was not the only member of her family affected by cancer. Her sister, Taylor also had cancer. Initially, the couple planned to get married before May but Joey’s cancer had returned twice. Then, in 2008, Caylee’s sister Taylor passed away from cancer at the young age of 16.
Caylee and Joey’s relationship has progressed tremendously since their days at summer camp and this past May, the couple finally tied the knot on a beach in Florida. As kids, Caylee and Joey were good friends, but it wasn’t until Joey was 18 and his cancer returned that the couple got even closer. Joey told ABC News, “I couldn’t drive, so Caylee came to pick me up. We went for ice cream and then Starbucks. We stayed there for hours talking until they closed the store.” Caylee chimed in, “I was sitting there saying things I’ve never said out loud, how I felt about my sister passing away. I knew I wanted a relationship with him.”
Caylee shared that the first year they were together was the hardest for them, as Joey was very sick. She said, “Joey was being treated at the same hospital my sister was treated at and many of the doctors and nurses were the same. It brought back a lot of memories of the time Taylor was sick.”
Even though the first year of their relationship was mostly spent in a hospital, Joey knew that he wanted to spend his life with Caylee. Right after the couple got engaged, Joey was diagnosed with cancer again and they had to cancel the wedding. Then another organization called Kellsie’s Hope got involved and asked Joey what a wanted. Joey told the organization, “I want to marry Caylee.” Afterward, Kellsie’s Hope started to plan the wedding of Joey and Caylee’s dreams.
Having the big day to look forward to helped Joey recover from his bone marrow transplant. Joey shared, “I saw Caylee and she was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. It was in that moment, on the beach with our family and closest friends that it all hit me. Just one year ago, I didn’t know if I would make it. And now I was marrying this woman who had literally been with me through the best and worst times of my life.” The couple plans to start a family soon and bring hope to others with their story. Caylee continued, “I hope he can use our story to give others hope,” Caylee said. “Out of hard times, good things can come.”