Feb 10 Liz and Ryan Bower

Shelly and Scott – Portland, OR

 To say Shelly and Scott have faced a lot of challenges in their marriage is an understatement. After battling infertility, and raising a child with special needs, they are now battling Shelly’s breast cancer together. Any of these things has the potential to destroy a marriage, but for Shelly and Scott, its brought them closer together.

Shelly and Scott – Portland, OR


Wedding Date: May 27, 1989

Tell us your love story: We met in college at PLU in Tacoma, WA in the Fall of 1984 and began dating that November. We dated all through college and got married in May of 1989. We immediately moved to a tiny town in South Carolina for my husband’s job in the lumber industry. We were there for 6 1/2 years and it challenged us. We struggled with infertility in those early years of marriage, as well as just the typical struggles of newlyweds making a life together. We moved back to OR in 1995 and that is where we adopted our sweet baby boy, Jack, in March of 1997.

When Jack was 7 months old, my husband was transferred to Ruston, LA. We were there for 4 1/2 years and then off to Eagle, ID in another transfer. That is where our son was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Another huge life challenge. We lived in Idaho for 3 years and then were transferred to a town near Tacoma, WA (again, job transfer). We were there 3 years and my husband left the company he’d been with for nearly 20 years and accepted a job with another wood products company here in Portland. He wanted Jack and I to live closer to family since his job entailed so much travel.

We’ve been “home” a little over 7 years now and can see so many reasons why this is where we needed to be. Mainly, so we could find amazing doctors and therapists for our son to thrive. Last year, my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a party and then a trip to Paris and London. This year we are focusing on the “in sickness and health” part of our vows since I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March and recently started chemotherapy. He has been my rock and I adore him.
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Share a bit more about some of the challenges your marriage has faced: Infertility, adoption and raising a child with special needs – those 3 things could rip a couple apart. Yet, we are closer than ever. We realized we make a great team and need each other. When one of us is having a hard day, the other steps in to fill the need. We couldn’t do it alone.

Dealing now with my cancer has been rough but, again, it’s brought us closer. I don’t know how I would have gotten through the last 4 months without him. He has been my “steady Eddy” through every appointment, surgery, and procedure. I love him so much and am so grateful to have him by my side on this scary journey.

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What is your best marriage advice? Give grace to each other and don’t let petty arguments fester. Forgive and move on. Communicate about everything and learn to compromise. Respect one another and the sanctity of your marriage.


I know I love my husband more today than the day I married him. He’s made me a better person and I’d like to think he’d say the same about me. We’ve both grown a lot in our 26 years of marriage. That’s a good, good thing.

The Amazing Marriage Adventure Book

We travelled over 40,000 miles to all 50 states in 2015 to meet and document the stories of Amazing Marriages throughout the country. We are currently writing a book that will feature everything we’ve learned from all the amazing couple we’ve met during the adventure. Want to read more of this couple’s love story and find out what we’ve learned during the Amazing Marriage Adventure? Join our mailing list below to be among the first notified of more details and to learn how you can get one of the first copies of the book. Plus you’ll be able to take part in our upcoming e-mail only 15 day Amazing Life Together challenge!


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