The man she plans to stand with during an outdoor wedding ceremony in front of hundreds at Lake Stevens High School will be the same one she married almost 16 years ago. The ceremony planned during the Relay For Life of Lake Stevens event is a renewal of hope for the Mukilteo couple.
That's because Adam Bogart, 39, was diagnosed on Oct. 26, 2010, with advanced colon cancer. The Bogarts were told the cancer had gone undetected for about three years.
"They put tubes down my nose and she went off bawling somewhere," Adam Bogart said. "I took all my stuff off and went to ask if she was OK."
Julie Bogart, 39, remembers going home shortly after Adam was diagnosed that day to tell their four children that their father had cancer.
"He had been riding his bike the day before, for 10 or 15 miles, and all of a sudden Daddy's not coming home. And that's really scary," she said. "He didn't come home for three weeks because everything that could have gone wrong did."
Since the time of his diagnosis, Adam Bogart, a materials manager at Boeing, has fought back through two rounds of chemotherapy and five operations. He's spent 50 days in the hospital. Having cancer forced him to change his diet and exercise more, he added. He tries not to miss a workout, even if he's feeling sick.
"Even if I don't have a good attitude some days I just fake it," he said. "I crack jokes and try to be funny. I talk about (cancer). I try to make everybody around me comfortable by talking about it so they can talk about it."
Julie Bogart wrote about her husband's cancer and how it has changed their lives and the lives of their four children in an essay that she entered in a contest to win the renewal of vows held during the event to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Her essay was chosen as the winner by judges in Arizona, Montana and Kentucky, said Kim Demary, Relay for Life of Lake Stevens' event chair.
"All entries went out of state so there was no emotional connection from our community," Demary said. "My guess is they won because the hardship hasn't ruined their marriage; it made it stronger."
Her family is thankful for the help of others since Adam became ill with cancer, Julie Bogart said. Friends of the family formed a Team Bogart Facebook page while Adam was first hospitalized to help support the family. Businesses like the Mukilteo Family YMCA, where Adam has continually exercised since his diagnosis, and the Mukilteo Boys & Girls Club have offered the family discounts.
The Bogart children, Madison, 15, Payton, 13, Carson, 6, and Emerson, 5, all plan to be part of today's wedding party. Decorations are planned in purple, the color associated with Relay For Life, and blue, the color linked with colon cancer. Donations made by local businesses include the wedding dress and alterations, bridal makeup and hair styling, cake, flowers, a banner for guests to sign, and photography. Her wedding ring also was restored.
The Bogarts asked their pastor, Christian Lindbeck of Canyon Creek Church in Everett, to officiate. They plan to read their own vows and conclude the ceremony by walking out to the song "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. On the day before one of his surgeries, Adam rode his bike 24 miles to the Snohomish County Superior Courthouse in Everett and ran up and down the stairs, Julie Bogart said.
"He told me, 'I felt like Rocky,'" she said.
After the short ceremony at 1 p.m., the couple is set to lead a lap around the school track with other cancer survivors.
The Bogarts plan May 25 to celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary. They'd also like to take a "familymoon" to Disneyland sometime soon.
In early June, the family expects test results to show how Adam's latest round of chemotherapy has worked.
They're hoping for good news.
"We still have so much ahead of us," Julie Bogart said. "There would be nothing better than to have someone say that you can have your everything to do everything with."
Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; email@example.com.
If you go
The Relay For Life of Lake Stevens is a 24-hour event that raises money for the American Cancer Society. It is set to begin at 10 a.m. today at Lake Stevens High School, 2908 113th Ave. NE, Lake Stevens.
Here are other Relay For Life events scheduled throughout the county:
•Relay For Life of Everett, opening ceremonies planned for noon today at Cascade High School, 801 E. Casino Road, Everett.
Relay For Life of Mill Creek, June 2-3 at McCollum Park, 600 128th St. SE, Everett.
Relay For Life of Stanwood Camano, June 2-3 at Stanwood High School, 7400 272nd St. NW, Stanwood.
Relay For Life of Marysville-Tulalip, June 9-10 at Marysville Pilchuck High School, 5611 108th St. NE, Marysville.
Relay For Life of South Snohomish County, June 9-10 at Edmonds Stadium, Edmonds-Woodway High School, 7600 212th St. SW, Edmonds.
Relay For Life of Arlington, June 23-24 at Arlington High School, 18821 Crown Ridge Blvd., Arlington.
For more information about Relay for Life go to www.relayforlife.org.
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