FAIR LAWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — For a northern New Jersey couple their love story began in 1987 at Passaic County Technical Institute, but it wasn’t exactly love at first sight.
“Oh, I was invisible. She didn’t even notice me,” Alan Sanchez told CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco.
In 2011, after nearly 25 years apart Alan and Evelyn Sanchez reconnected on Facebook with a simple friend request that blossomed into much more when the pair reunited at a high school reunion in 2012.
“It was just me and him, and then it was something so powerful that I could not possibly begin to explain,” Evelyn said.
The couple was married in October 2012 after a whirlwind two-month romance, but their fairytale began to unravel in December.
“They found out that [my] liver was actually getting worse than better and the thing is I don’t drink so it’s just by itself going bad,” Alan said.
Alan suffers from NASH or Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis, a liver condition brought on by rapid weight loss. With his liver failing only a transplant could save his life.
None of Alan’s family members could be living donors, which meant that Alan would be placed on a waiting list unless he could find someone with his blood type to be a living donor.
“When he said that to me O-Positive I was like did you just say blood type O-Positive? And I was in shock,” Evelyn said. “I looked at him and he didn’t know; he didn’t know what my blood type was.”
In August, Alan and Evelyn will come to NYU Medical Center, where doctors will perform the transplant that will hopefully save his life.
Evelyn said she plans to give Alan two-thirds of her liver.
“To come such a long way, to find him, I will not accept to lose him so quickly,” she said.
While Alan faces a 50/50 chance for survival the couple said it plans to continue to fight, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.
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