And when she got married over the weekend, the bride was able to stand tall as she made her way down the aisle to her prince, two-time Iraq War veteran Eric Gabrielse.
"I think what she did goes above and beyond any of the physical or mental stuff I've done," said Gabrielse, who met his future wife three years ago as a pen pal. "She dealt with it her all her life and handled it all so amazingly. I'm so proud of her."
And now Didonato has her happily ever after.