‘Through sickness and in health’: New River Valley couple lived the vow long before marriage

Zack and Chelsea Hartman selected as “Share Your Love” contest winners

ROANOKE, Va. – Ready or not, love finds a way and can happen at the most unexpected times in your life.

That’s the case for one New River Valley couple. The 10 News Share Your Love contest winners sat down with us to talk about their love story.

We partnered with Todd’s Jewelry to give away a diamond heart pendant.

Now married three and half years, Zack and Chelsea Hartman, of Christiansburg, are college sweethearts.

Zack is originally from Roanoke, while Chelsea from Christiansburg.

The couple met at Liberty University in 2011, but fell in love in 2014 during what Chelsea said was one of the hardest seasons of her life.

The vow about “through sickness and in health” was made much earlier on, while they were still dating. In fact, it’s when they fell in love.

“He just loved me as a person and it wasn’t about me being sick,” said Chelsea.

She was diagnosed with stage-four kidney failure and was actively looking for a donor. But, that didn’t stop Zack.

“He was a friend and made it pretty obvious he wanted to be more than a friend,” Chelsea said.

“I was persistent,” Zack chimed in.

Although then only a friend, Zack captured her heart through sweet gestures like hand making cards and many hospital visits. He loved her through it all. She knew he was the one.

“I said if I don’t marry this guy, I’m stupid because he is a good one,” Chelsea told 10 News she recalled saying to her mother while she was in the hospital.

They made it official shortly after. Zack proposed after a year and a half. They finally made the vows they were already living by in 2016 when they got married.

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