New Beginnings

A surprise proposal occurs in the hospital where one patient got a new chance at life.

Nate LaFleur, MD, proposes to former patient Kate Bauer

Photo by Peter Barta

When former St. Jude patient Kate Bauer agreed to take part in St. Jude LIFE, a longterm follow-up study for cancer survivors, she never dreamed she would soon be saying “yes” to another request.

As a teenager, Bauer had spent two years undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Now she wanted her boyfriend, Nate LaFleur, MD, to see the hospital that had played such a crucial role in her life.

Before their visit, LaFleur secretly arranged for Bauer’s care team and a photographer to be present during his marriage proposal. He popped the question in a waiting area where Bauer and her mom had spent hours gazing at the aquariums and devising creative stories about the secret lives of each fish.

After their wedding in November of 2017, Bauer plans to continue participating in the survivorship study.

“It’s such a great program, and I feel like I owe my life to St. Jude,” she said. “Anything I can do to help is very important to me.”

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