This couple shares 47 years, beat cancer twice and are now stealing hearts in these photos Meet the Brewingtons. Their photographer daughter posted their anniversary pics and they’ve gone viral.

When photographer Amber Robinson posted photos of her parents on her company Facebook page and on Instagram last week commemorating their 47th wedding anniversary, she didn’t think it would become a poster moment for the hashtag #relationship goals, but that’s what happened.

Those six photos unfolded a love story that proves the traditional wedding ceremony vows for “in sickness and in health” are real.

“In this wonderful creative industry that I worked in, I focus so much on providing couple hours with a day of beautiful photography,” Robinson posted. “To be honest, rarely do I stop to think about the day, weeks, months or years that follow a wedding day.

“So today I share with you what those years after can look like when true love exists. These are my parents: married for 47 years, they have triumphed over cancer … twice. Have raised two successful daughters. They have been poor together and rich together. They have fed, sheltered, and advised countless lost souls. They love with out expectation and give freely, whatever it is they have to offer.

“I am SO proud to call them Mom and Dad. They are the epitome of where I strive to be in my own marriage and a constant reminder that a wedding is only a day, but a marriage is forever.”

Robinson’s mother, Wanda Brewington, is 67. Her dad, Marvin, is 70. The couple recently shared their secrets of love with Essence, and they include “honesty and communication, never going to bed upset, and finding a way to compliment your partner.”

The two met at Livingston College in Salisbury, North Carolina, and were married in 1970 in Wanda Brewington’s hometown of Wilkesboro. Marvin Brewington was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1973 and with colon cancer in 1987. In 2013, he’d learn he was living with prostate cancer, and that same year Wanda Brewington was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

The two told Essence that their “love for each other and faith in God” was the bond that helped them through their health problems. “We made a vow on our wedding day, through sickness and health, and have always been determined that we can and will overcome anything. On the days that one of us is down, the other one picks us up.”

Robinson, a mother of four, lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. She recently told Yahoo! Lifestyle that growing up, she thought “it was disgusting to see our parents hug and kiss so much. But now, as a married woman, I understand.

“But we also grew up with a realistic version of love — my dad has multiple sclerosis and survived prostate cancer twice, and he leaned on my mom for support.”

Instagram Photo

 

My personal cancer survivor story and how early detection saved my life ‘Getting tested might put you in a brief moment of discomfort. Not getting tested could lead to a slow, painful death.’

Last month a friend used his social media account to share news of a pending colonoscopy. He made comments about being afraid. He shared a video of a scene from a comedy film that made light of a patient getting an invasive digital prostate exam. He even joked about how the procedure would leave him feeling violated.

While reading this back-and-forth, I’d finally had enough.

“Stop it,” I wrote, explaining that people might take his words seriously enough that they would avoid a procedure that might save their life.

I can speak to those lifesaving procedures firsthand. Five years ago I underwent a series of tests that revealed that I had prostate cancer that, over a two-year period, had become very aggressive. On this, the 30th annual National Cancer Survivors Day, I can honestly say that if I had been afraid to take a digital rectal exam that many men — like my friend — fear, it’s unlikely I’d be here today to share my story.

An exaggeration? Hardly. I’ve witnessed the horrific way cancer takes you out.

The first time cancer affected my immediate family was in 1993 when my mother died after a two-year battle with melanoma. The skin cancer wasn’t detected early, and those deadly cells metastasized through her entire body, leaving her bones brittle. She was 56 when she died.

Cancer struck again about 15 years later when my brother was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His wasn’t caught early, and on the night he died he struggled through his last breaths as our family watched helplessly at his hospital bedside. My brother and mother left behind sisters, brothers, a spouse, children and grandkids. To this day, we all continue to struggle with our loss.

I am thankful to be a survivor. And I’m still alive today — more than five years after my radical prostatectomy procedure, which removed my prostate — because of the preventive tests. It’s because of those tests that death rates in 11 of the 16 common cancers for men and 13 of the 18 common cancers for women have been lowered.

My survival story? I was 49, without a health scare or care in the world. Cancer was the furthest thing from my mind, even though my doctors had included a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test each year I had a physical.

My brother losing his battle with prostate cancer in 2010 shook me. And then, the very next year, my brother-in-law was diagnosed with prostate cancer, leading to his surgery.

Two people affected by cancer in a short period of time hit close to home. I started to do some research and found that 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. If you’re black, the group with the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world, those odds increase to 1 in 5.

At that time I realized I had been two years between tests. I immediately scheduled a PSA and found that my levels had doubled in two years. A second blood test revealed the same results, and the biopsy several months later revealed an aggressive cancer in my prostate.

The next six months were tough. I endured a series of uncomfortable tests. Later, my scheduled surgery was delayed because of a lesion found on my rib cage. The fear? The cancer had already spread, which would have made my surgery unnecessary. Fortunately another biopsy, my third, revealed the lesion wasn’t cancerous.

In July 2012 I had my prostate removed. Two weeks later, I started a new job.

My cancer was caught early. The key word is “caught” because it would have never been detected had I not undergone the many preventive procedures in place that save lives. Early detection of prostate cancer results in survival rates that exceed 95 percent.

I feel blessed to be alive. If my brother-in-law hadn’t been diagnosed the year after my brother’s death, there’s a chance that I may not have gone for a screening. Going an extra year without a screening may have been, for me, the difference between life and death.

Honestly, I had never heard of National Cancer Survivors Day until I was assigned this story. That might be because I celebrate being a survivor every single day.

Early detection is key. Early detection is harmless. Early detection saves lives.

Getting tested might put you in a brief moment of discomfort. Not getting tested could lead to a slow, painful death.

Which would you choose?

My choice, based on what I’ve witnessed, was easy.