Twenty-year-old Alex W. Guerrero knew last week he was dying. The bone cancer he had fought since 2015 was terminal.
His fiancee, Morgan Gaile Krohn, 22, and a childhood cancer survivor herself, said she knew it too.
“Alex was my soul mate, the one, from as soon as I met him last year,” Krohn said. “I knew. He knew. We knew. From the first week we did everything together.”
The couple met in July at Camp Happy Days, a camp near Charleston for young people with cancer. He was a volunteer. So was Krohn.
They became engaged Jan. 28 in a surprise party Guerrero threw with more than 100 people in attendance. He already had lost his lower right leg to cancer. The cancer returned in 2018.
“Alex got down on his one knee. He lost the other one to cancer, and asked me to marry him,” Krohn said. “I said ‘yes’ right away.”
Still, the plan was to wait a bit.
But by Feb. 12, the end was near.
“Alex turned to me and said, ‘Let’s just get married tomorrow,’ ” Krohn said. “I said ‘Let’s do it.’ ”
So they did.
On Feb. 13, in Alex’s parents living room in Fort Mill with so many people crowded in the room that the floor seemed to shake, the couple wed.
People clapped and cried and hugged. The groom kissed his bride.
On the morning of Feb. 16, a few minutes after 8 in the morning, Alex W. Guerrero died. His funeral is Feb. 20 at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Fort Mill.
His courage to live right to the end, his devotion to his wife, never wavered.
Alex did waveboarding behind a boat, with one leg because his other had been amputated. He got tattoos to show he was young and hip and strong. The last one was just weeks ago -- for his fiancee.
He rode motorcycles and drove his jeep off-road in the mud.
Before his illness he played soccer at Nation Ford High School. On one natural leg and one prosthetic leg he attended the College of Charleston. At the school he was a student ambassador.
At the cancer camp for children Guerrero mentored other young people, including a boy who went through an amputation.
He put much of his life with cancer on social media. Hundreds of people followed his illness, treatment and adventures.
“Alex wanted to share, to inspire,” said his mother, Pati Guerrero. “He was not afraid.”
Luis Guerrero, Alex’s father, said Alex had strong faith in God.
“He wanted to give back, and he did,” Luis Guerrero said. “He was strong. My son was a warrior in his heart.”
Alex’s illness went on for three years. After the initial diagnosis of bone cancer in his right knee, he had a knee replacement and then the amputation. He went through many rounds of chemotherapy. Good news from treatment did not last.
The cancer would not yield.
Krohn said some people wondered why she would get married when there was likely little time to be a wife. She said there was no doubt she was doing what was right.
“I told Alex numerous times, ‘I am not going anywhere and we are a couple.”
Krohn said getting married was worth it, and wonderful.
“It was beautiful,” she said of her wedding.
Guerrero’s parents supported their son’s decision to get married. They said their son wanted to be a nurse. And he always wanted to have a family.
He got a wife, for two and-a-half wonderful days.