For couple coping with cancer, an 'amazing' New Year's Day proposal
Kamila Hinkson, CTV Montreal
Published Friday, January 1, 2016 5:45PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 1, 2016 7:18PM EST
She thought she was coming to Montreal for a standard New Year’s trip: see the fireworks, visit a few restaurants. She arrived here with her boyfriend, but she’s leaving with her fiancé.
Heidi Moore, 29, and Rodney Comer, 33, live in Newmarket, Ont. They have known each other since high school, but only got together two years ago.
Heidi was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, underwent chemotherapy and surgery and was deemed cancer-free. But in 2014, a routine MRI showed a 10-centimetre long tumour growing on her liver. The cancer has now spread to her lungs. It’s stage four.
“There’s no cure, so…” she starts.
“That we know of,” Rodney says, interrupting her.
They did come to Montreal for a New Year’s Eve trip, but Rodney had bigger plans. On New Year’s Day, in front of the Notre Dame Basilica and a crowd of strangers, he asked Heidi to marry him, presenting her with a ring he had custom made. She accepted.
“I feel amazing, in this moment,” she said afterwards.
Heidi Moore shows off the engagement ring her now-fiancé Rodney Comer gave her. They got engaged in Montreal New Year's Day.
They’ve been in Montreal for a few days and have received a warm welcome, thanks in no small part to Maxime Martin, a concierge at the St. Sulpice Hotel in Old Montreal where the couple stayed.
When Comer called Dec. 29 asking for help setting up a memorable trip, Martin sprang into action. On Rodney’s end, the proposal has been months in the making, but Martin only had hours to put something together.
He called his contacts to help out – restaurateurs, boutique owners, even the Montreal Casino is contributing. Martin says he has a family member with cancer and was touched by the couple’s story.
“It’s my job to make people happy, small or big requests,” he said.
They were at the Old Port to ring in the new year, then spent Friday visiting Montreal restaurants and shops.
At each place they visited, a memory card was waiting for Heidi – made by Rodney, they each depict a milestone in the couple’s relationship.
Their plans for 2016 include getting married and exploring Heidi’s treatment options. She’s been doing chemotherapy but says it’s not working. They’re looking into the option of participating in clinical trials in the U.S. and in Toronto, options that aren’t all covered by insurance and could cost thousands. Rodney set up a GoFundMe page to start raising money so they can pay for whatever treatment she chooses to go with.
“Heidi is extremely selfless and giving, never missing an opportunity to help anyone in need. Even though she is going through so much, she’s always looking at the positive side of things,” Rodney wrote on the crowdfunding page.
Heidi and Rodney know they’re facing an uphill battle, but they believe they’ll come out the winners. She has a 7-year-old daughter and says her positive attitude is all because of her.
“Not being positive is not an option. You have to. It’s not a choice,” she said.