|Lucy and John|
A couple of years ago, I read When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, which is along the same lines: Paul was only 37 when he died of lung cancer, never smoked, and was a renowned neurosurgical resident at Stanford. I have read his book twice now and will, I'm sure, read it again. He and his wife decided to visit a sperm bank in order to help his wife get pregnant before he died. He was very ill when his daughter, Cady, was born, but he lived long enough to be there. It's a tremendously inspiring book, too. I also recommend it highly.
But the love story: Nina was so worried about how John would be able to deal with her death that she asked him to get ahold of Lucy Kalanithi, who had been through the same experience that he was facing, and could possibly help him. Nina and Lucy were already friends because of an essay Nina had published in The Washington Post. Lucy had written her a fan letter and wrote a glowing blurb for the unpublished book, and sent Nina a private email two days before Nina died in a hospice. John read the email to her, and Nina begged him to get ahold of her afterward.
John did, and over the period of several months of intense emails, they decided to meet. Lucy was scheduled to come to a conference less than an hour away from John's home. That was the beginning of this part of the love story. The Washington Post wrote a wonderful article about it, which you can read in its entirety here. (Note: I subscribe to the Post, so I don't have a limit on what I can see. Please let me know if you have a problem reading it, and I'll try to find another way.)
For me, it was a Valentine's Day reward, a wonderful book and a real-life love story all at once. (P.S. I found, after some more digging, that the couple broke it off last summer, so the love story might not be still happening. Too soon?)