Brain tumor can’t stop Beaverton couple’s love


MILWAUKIE, Ore. (KOIN) — Melanie Blake said she feels like a movie star in her wedding dress and her soon-to-be-husband Brian Cook “looks like a mobster in the Zoot suit,” she laughed. Melanie put “little pin rolls in my hair, like back in the ’50s” to help capture a rock-and-roll/movie star flare for the wedding.

Melanie and Brian, who met on MySpace about 10 years ago, have been through a lot together. “I lived in Connecticut and he was out here and I wanted friends before I got out here,” she explained.

Brian Cook and Melanie Blake in an undated photo seen on Wish Upon A Wedding website, July 26, 2017
Brian Cook and Melanie Blake. (Ambient Sky Couture Imagery)

Shortly after they started dating, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and a brain tumor — and tried to break up with him.

“I didn’t want Brian to go through all that,” she told KOIN 6 News. “I didn’t want him to be with someone who was sick all the time, but he wouldn’t let me.”

She had several surgeries to treat the thyroid cancer and then had brain surgery in 2010. But that left her initially unable to talk or take care of herself, she said — and Brian stuck by her side.

On October 29, 2016, the Beaverton couple got engaged.

Brian, 49, said he loves everything about her.

“She’s patient, she’s kind, she cares about everything and everyone,” he said. “She really cares about me,” he added, fighting back tears.

About – Wish Upon A Wedding

Weeks later she found out her brain tumor is back and larger than before. She began radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

At Thanksgiving, her sister gave her an application to an organization called Wish Upon A Wedding, a non-profit that grants weddings to couples facing serious illnesses or life-changing circumstances.

Through Wish Upon A Wedding vendors donated everything for Melanie and Brian’s big day. In a statement, the non-profit’s Kasey Conyers said, “We are honored to have this opportunity to assist such a deserving and loving couple.”

Now 42, Melanie said the doctors estimate she has 3 to 5 years to live. That’s why her motto is to take things one day at a time.

“You just need to love everyday because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” she said.

But this day, her wedding day, Melanie is focused and “nervous, very nervous.”

“Brian looks tough and intimidating but he’s like the biggest teddy bear ever so he will definitely be crying,” Melanie said.

When he sees Melanie walking down the aisle at Gray Gables Estate, Brian admits people think he’s going to cry. “I’m a little welly right now,” he said. “It’s going to be wonderful.”

She calls Brian her best friend and is so happy with everything this day. And she hopes others can also love and be happy.

“I think you just need to be positive,” she told KOIN 6 News. “Just enjoy yourself because you’re not going to be here again.”

Smiling broadly, she said, “I’m so happy. Yeah, I’m so happy.”

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