Laurin Bank has died from cancer, after miraculously living to see her wedding day in a health journey that quickly captured the nation's attention
A South Carolina bride with cancer has died after miraculously living to see her wedding day in a health journey that quickly captured the nation’s attention.
Laurin Bank, 30, of Columbia, died on Sunday, nearly seven months after she married Michael Bank in a sweet ceremony on March 24 — a date doctors thought Laurin, who had stage 4 cancer, would never see.
“She has left a huge whole (sic) in all of our hearts, and [I] am humbled to be her king,” Michael wrote in a Facebook post on Monday, calling Laurin his “beautiful queen.” “I was able to carry her to bed and hold her until her last beautiful breath.”
Michael explained that Laurin hadn’t been feeling well Sunday morning and couldn’t get comfortable after returning home from her aunt’s house. He wrote that she was given morphine, but that didn’t help.
“Its been my honor to be by her side the past 3 and a half years and [I] would not trade the memories that we have made for anything in the world,” Michael continued in the post. “She has made me so much a better person.”
Laurin was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in September 2014. She underwent chemotherapy, radiation and a double mastectomy before being declared cancer-free in April 2015. However, her health took a turn in August 2017 when doctors told Laurin her cancer had returned as stage four, and had metastasized to her bones, liver and lungs.
With that, doctors urged Laurin and Michael last September to move up their wedding date, fearing that Laurin wouldn’t live to see March 24. The couple refused to move the special date.
“This date was special to us,” Laurin previously told PEOPLE. “We felt like moving that date was giving up and giving in to the cancer and letting it run our lives. We didn’t want to give in. That was our goal … and I was able to walk down the aisle to my husband. I was able to dance with him and I didn’t need a wheelchair or oxygen. I did it I made it.”
On her wedding day, a smiling Bank walked down the aisle, married Michael and danced energetically in front of 230 of her closest family and friends. In the months that followed, Laurin and Michael traveled frequently, sharing smiling photos of their adventures on social media.
Earlier this month, Laurin shared a sad update on Facebook for her many supporters. She revealed that her health had declined and there was nothing left for doctors to do.
“The cancer is spreading like wild fire and the strongest possible dose of chemotherapy they can give me did not work. I am now to the point that chemotherapy is no longer an option,” she wrote in the post on Oct. 11, adding that she would be “moving to home healthcare.”
After Michael revealed the death on Monday, several social media users paid tribute to Laurin, the self-proclaimed “polka dot queen,” on Facebook.
“She lived life to the end by her terms,” one person wrote. “I too am a better person for knowing Laurin Long Bank.”
Another wrote: “If you have ever known Michael & Laurin Long Bank, then you’ve known one of the greatest love stories ever told. A man who choose to walk a hard and dangerous road that his Polka.dot.queen was forced to walk. He protected her, provided for her and with passion laughed and cried with her every step of the adventure. Oh the places they went and the hearts they touched.”