The odds were against them from the beginning, but one couple in the throes of wedding planning is proving that love really can conquer all.
Travis Spire-Sweet met Taesha Benson in 2012 on a dating website, but a few months into the relationship, Spire-Sweet's health took a turn for the worse. The then 29-year-old was born with kidney disease in which his one working kidney only functioned at 25 percent, and it became clear that he wasn't going to live much longer, Ink magazine reported.
Benson, not wanting to lose him, started a fundraiser for a much needed kidney transplant. Family members -- including Spire-Sweet's fraternal twin brother -- stepped up to get tested. No one was a match.
Benson then decided that she wanted to get tested too, despite knowing the odds were 1 in 30,000 that she would be a viable donor. As fate would have it, she was a match.
That meant just ten months into their relationship, Benson and Spire-Sweet went in for surgery together. The kidney Benson was donating would add 15 to 20 years to her boyfriend's life, according to Ink's report.
Benson told the magazine at the time that most people thought she was crazy to risk so much for a man she had met less than a year prior. "I was afraid of judgment because I’m his girlfriend. People tell him, ‘When are you going to propose?’ Or they say ‘You’d better get a ring for this.’”
But that wasn't why Benson did it. As a friend of the couple, Kelly Morken, said at the time, “We live in such a self-serving society that people can’t imagine giving an organ without something in return. She’s expecting nothing except a healthier, longer life for Travis.”
The surgery was successful.
Four months later -- just before Valentine's Day 2013 -- Spire-Sweet decided to do something for the woman who saved his life and popped the question at a Kansas City Royals game. In front of a crowd full of people and with tears streaming down her face, Benson said, "Yes." (Watch the proposal below.)
Now, a full ten months after the surgery, the happy couple is planning their wedding day. Spire-Sweet tells the Huffington Post that words are not enough to convey his excitement.
"Imagine watching the person you love getting carted off and having her kidney removed so you could live, and watching that same person walk down the aisle to marry you. She literally had to give her kidney so I could even be standing there waiting!" he said. "She deserves more love and affection than I'll ever be able to give her in a lifetime but I can guarantee I'll spend all my days giving her every ounce of life she has provided me. I love her, I can't imagine not loving her."
The groom, now 30, says they plan to marry at the Powell Gardens Chapel, about 40 miles east of Kansas City.
"Taesha is not one who wants attention at all, even having a small wedding with 50-100 attending is a stretch for her. If she had her rathers, she'd be ok with just us two and someone to do a quick ceremony. But we compromised," he said.