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Relationships Match: He gave her his heart, she gave him her kidney – then they got married

Emily Moloney Marsland, 37, stay-at-home parent, and Chris Marsland, 38, video editor.

Pamela Yool Photography/Pamela Yool Photography

Who: Chris Marsland, 38, video editor; Emily Moloney Marsland, 37, stay-at-home parent

Location: Mimico, Ont.

Relationship status: together since 2000

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On-set romance

Emily: We met on a film set. I was a theatre student and he was helping on set. I remember walking up to this guy who was lying on the floor. I thought he might be taking a nap. I thought, “Who is this guy?”

Chris: I remember seeing Emily for the first time. She came down the stairs with her curly hair and it was like everyone faded away, like Dream Weaver started playing.

Emily: Chris explained to me that he was lying on the floor because he had just puked. I didn’t know why at the time. I remember liking this cute thing he did with his eyes, where they kind of bug out. He still does it today.

Chris: We went on this group date to see Amélie. I wanted to sit beside Emily, but I ended up on the wrong side of the theatre. So I kind of slinked back out and came around hoping she wouldn’t notice.

Emily: I noticed.

Love in a time of kidney failure

Emily: I think it was probably our first date that Chris told me had interstitial nephritis, which is a kidney condition. It was serious, but he downplayed it. Chris is a big downplayer.

Chris: I didn’t want to bring it up so early on. Things were going really well and we were definitely falling in love. But then I get really sick. I was on a donor list but the wait time was between six and eight years. I don’t remember the conversation when Emily said she wanted to take the blood test to see if she was a match.

Emily: Obviously I loved him. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise, but I wasn’t necessarily thinking, this guy is going to be my husband, we’re going to have two kids. Chris was this really amazing guy and he needed help and I could provide that.

Chris: From my perspective, I had never even had a girl like me back before this. It’s still hard to believe. I’m not a big fate person, but there I was one day in class and this guy says, “Hey, will you help me with my film shoot?” In that moment, my life could have gone two ways. The transplant was a success.

In sickness and in Stamos

Emily: When we got married a few years later, we kind of joked when we said, “In sickness and in health.” We were like, “Already done the sickness thing. Can we have some health, please?” Our engagement story is actually really funny.

Chris: I decided to propose at one of our favourite places, Disney World. A staff member saw the whole thing and offered to put us in a special box for the fireworks that night.

Emily: Later they said, “Oh, we’re very sorry, but you’ll have to share the box with a celebrity.” We thought, oh, okay – Mickey Mouse. But it wasn’t Mickey, it was John Stamos.

Chris: That’s the first person other than our parents to learn about our engagement. I think Emily was weighing her options. I mean…

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Emily: John Stamos!!! I still think I ended up with the right guy.

Match profiles an interesting couple each week. Interested in being featured? Share your story at match@globeandmail.com

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