'Yes to Dress' Cancer Survivor: Support Crashed Store Computer


In 1989, 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 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.

Range and Lonzie had hoped to renew their marriage vows in 2012, but cancer stood in the way. "When the chemo came up, we couldn't do it financially," she said. "It was going to have to wait."

But when Bridals by Lori sought a breast cancer survivor, Range's husband, 46, who is a minister and also works for the U.S. Postal Service, responded. He wrote a letter to the Komen foundation explaining their story.

Allen said her own recovery took a full year. In reconstructive surgery, doctors moved muscles from her back forward, weakening her strength.

"When I first came home, I couldn't even get a coffee cup out of the cupboard," she said. "But I am working on that."

As for the show's upcoming special, she said, "It's about hope. That's my take. I am no different than anyone else.

"What I loved about last year's show is they didn't sugar coat it," said Allen. "Some days I was furious I had breast cancer. But this special is about how strong we are and our hope for the future. We are happy to be here as breast cancer survivors."

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