Marriage proposal connects families already sharing special bond

December 27, 2017 05:58 PM

It's an extra special holiday season for a couple now in their 20s, with a family connection dating back decades. It connects an Albany Med nurse, her daughter and her soon to be son-in-law.

"Her mother was one of my nurses when I was sick. One of my heroes, I would say honestly," explained Derrick Mundweiler.

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Derrick was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma when he was 10 years old and made a great connection with Colleen Umholtz. As for her daughter, Alexis, they first met at an Albany Med picnic.

"Probably around 12 or 14 years old, where we were playing horseshoes at a reunion and it was all the families and the staff from the Melodies Center," recalled Alexis.

"I remember my girlfriend who took care of Derrick in the hospital…she was his nurse on the floor, just saying to me, 'Those two would be a great couple and I see them getting married someday,'" noted Colleen.

They went to different high schools, but saw each other once a year and then he messaged her on Facebook and paid her a visit in college.

"He took a trip up to Plattsburgh and the rest is history," pointed out Colleen.

Fast forward to the "Melodies of Christmas" concert last week and the big proposal.

"This year, I was asked to be the patient success story for the Melodies Center. Upon agreeing to do that, I figured that that there would be no other better way to end a success story with a question like that," reasoned Derrick.

"He got my whole family there and everyone was there and I just thought we were taking a nice family photo," explained Alexis.

"Alexis' reaction to the proposal was absolutely priceless. She was shocked. It looked like she was going to pass out," remembered Colleen.

"I can say it was the happiest I've ever been in my whole life," beamed Derrick.

They plan to get married early next year.


WNYT Staff

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