“We found that during cancer, or during any hard time, really, if you stayed close to God things became a lot easier.” —Lexi Gould Stafford
Lexi Gould Stafford is 18 years old. Her newlywed husband, Ricky, will soon turn 20. It will be years before either of them is old enough to rent a car at an "adult" rate.
But the young Staffords could aptly be called old souls. Together, they’ve both endured far more trials, fears and setbacks than anyone their age expects or deserves.
Their love story — tethered to their shared faith in Christ’s healing hands — seems pulled from the pages of a young adult novel:
A pretty teenage girl with big dreams is shocked to learn she has cancer. At the clinic she meets a handsome young man named Ricky, a cancer survivor. Ricky knows Lexi’s fears and frustrations. They talk and talk and talk. He makes her laugh. Ricky’s victory over the disease comforts Lexi. The two fall for each other — but they’re high school kids, so they simply call each other “best friends.” Ricky leaves for his mission. His cancer returns. This time, Lexi is there for Ricky. Their love grows and Ricky asks Lexi to be his wife. She says yes, just as she knew she always would.
But the Stafford’s story is no Hollywood contrivance. It’s the true and painful and joyful story of two young people holding tight to their faith and friendship to absorb life’s unexpected jolts and jostles.