NASHVILLE – After a tough divorce, single dad Sean Woodard decided to get on the Bumble dating app, the one where women make the first move.

Soon, the construction worker who lived in Smyrna, about 23 miles southeast of Nashville, had a match. Her name was Amanda, and she had posted several silly pics of herself on her profile page.

“I thought she was hot, No. 1,” Woodard said in an interview with The Tennessean, part of the USA TODAY Network, “and I thought she was fun and laid back.”

Turned out Amanda DiMarzio also was a recently divorced parent. One with a wacky, sarcastic sense of humor. 

In their first online exchange, she asked him what his death row final meal would be. His answer: Anything with Reese’s.

They went back and forth several times, exchanging playful, smart-alecky messages and talking on the phone before they set up their first date.

Beforehand, DiMarzio asked to have one more phone conversation with the man with piercing blue eyes and sweet pics of himself with his kids.

“So what are your thoughts on cancer?” she asked.

Woodard, stunned, paused for a second: “Are you telling me you have cancer?”

“Yes,” she said.

DiMarzio laid it all out. Eight tumors. Cancer in her lymph nodes and bones. About 40 pills and one to three injections a day to survive. Sometimes, DiMarzio spent the entire day in bed.

Her prognosis: A 10% chance of surviving longer than five years.

OK, he said. Where are we going on this date of ours?

Laser tag and sushi

Amanda DiMarzio, who’s is battling a rare form of cancer, and Sean Woodard laugh at a reporter's question before their wedding. Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.

It started at his favorite restaurant, Koi Sushi & Thai in East Nashville. From there, laser tag downtown, where they ended up facing off against (and losing to) a bunch of middle schoolers, then back to East Nashville for drinks at the Fox Bar & Cocktail Club speakeasy.

They talked about their kids, about growing up, religion. They even shared some high school pictures of themselves. All the while, they gave each other grief, taking playful jabs during their banter. (“I’m better at it,” DiMarzio said with a smirk.)



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