Cancer Strikes 4 Times Before Bride Gets Wedding Dress

PHOTO: DeLese Range

Lori Allen, who runs a successful bridal shop featured in the reality show Bridals By Lori, got a 7:05 a.m. telephone call in April that changed her life -- she had breast cancer.

"I was not even going to go get a mammogram this year," said the 53-year-old from Georgia. "I am healthy as a horse and haven't missed a day of work in five years. I had no lump. I was just busy running a business."

Her business is Bridals By Lori, and since the cancer diagnosis, surgery and recovery, she has used it as a platform to inspire and help other women with the disease.

One of those women, DeLese Range, has battled cancer in 23 of her 25-year marriage. She and husband Lonzie, who live in Carollton, Texas, will renew their vows next June in a dress provided by Allen.

"When I first got married, I borrowed my brother's girlfriend's dress and wore it at 2 o'clock -- she wore it that night to the prom," said Range, 43, who's survived ovarian and breast cancer survivor and is now being treated for lung and lymph node cancers.

Allen's journey with breast cancer, "Say Yes to the Cure: Lori's Fight," premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on TLC. The special, which features Range, airs as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

An estimated one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. It is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About 39,510 women will die from the breast cancer this year.

"It turned my world upside down," Allen told She was so terrified by her breast cancer diagnosis, "I couldn't say the word for five days."

But she approached TLC, which produces her show, and offered to tell her personal story. Three days after the doctor's call, TV crews began filming.

Allen was looking for a woman who had survived breast cancer to help her make wedding dreams come true. She found Range through the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation, and the special follows Range's search for the perfect dress.

In 1989, just two years after her makeshift wedding and pregnant with her second child, Range was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

She recovered after chemotherapy and radiation, but in 2001, Range found out she had stage-four breast cancer.

"We had a nurse seven days a week and had to put a hospital bed in the bedroom next to my husband," she said.

After aggressive treatment, Range was prepped for a mastectomy. "We were in the hospital and the doctor came in and sat us down. He said, 'I don't think we have to do it now.'"

X-rays revealed that she had gone into a complete remission without treatment. Medical experts were baffled, but Range was overjoyed. "They can't explain it," she said.

But a decade later, in 2011, Range would face yet another cancer diagnosis. This time it was lung cancer, even though she had never smoked. And then, another blow -- doctors found unrelated cancer in her lymph nodes and she is now back on chemotherapy.

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