Woman who left fiancé because he had cancer ended their relationship while he was in hospital
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A woman who confessed to breaking up with her partner after he was diagnosed with cancer has now revealed that she dumped him while he was in hospital recovering from surgery.
Danielle Epstein went somewhat viral last week when she admitted to leaving her boyfriend, Jelle Fresen, who was diagnosed with grade 4 medulloblastoma.
It's not exactly the kind of move that many people would openly talk about, let alone make national news with, but Danielle decided to tell her story before she ran the London marathon in her ex's name for Brain Tumour Research.
Now, Danielle has shared some more details from the harsh breakup, including that she had actually proposed to Jelle before his cancer diagnosis, and eventually dumped him while he was lying in hospital.
Danielle told The Telegraph in a new interview that she felt Jelle was 'the one' as soon as she met him.
The couple had been dating for two years when Danielle asked Jelle to marry her.
They had even been planning to buy a house together in London - but shortly afterwards, he was diagnosed with the rare tumour.
Danielle had previously explained that she really struggled watching Jelle go through the traumatic experience - including a 17-hour surgery that left him with nerve damage and palsy in the right of his face.
When it eventually got too much for her and regular panic attacks started seriously affecting her mental health, Danielle decided to call it quits with Jelle.
She told The Telegraph: "I felt like the man I loved was slipping away from me. I had been so close to having everything I wanted and then, all of a sudden, it had been snatched away."
So, two weeks after Jelle's life-changing surgery, while he was still recovering in hospital, Danielle ended it.
"He was still recovering in hospital and I sat and faced him on a chair and told him I couldn’t stay with him," she revealed.
Danielle moved to Thailand with her dad after the split, but always kept in touch with her ex, feeling incredibly guilty about her decision.
“I still love Jelle deeply and want to support him, but I came to realise I couldn’t stay with him as his partner," she said.
"I felt like the most awful person, leaving somebody because they have cancer but it was damaging my mental health and it wasn’t helping Jelle.
"We’re still figuring things out and finding ways to continue our relationship as friends. Our whole lives came out from under us."
Feeling helpless, Danielle said she 'knew [she] had to do something' for Jelle and decided to sign up for the London marathon.
"I won’t be fast, but I’m determined to get round," she insisted.
"Training has been tough physically and mentally, just keeping going when you’re so bored is challenging.
"But I have the best motivation; if Jelle can go through all of this then I can run a marathon.”
Danielle later updated her supporters to let them know that, in the end, she couldn't run the actual London Marathon course due to 'a minority of unsavoury trolls' who had heard her story.
Instead, she ran a virtual marathon so she couldn't be tracked and completed the 42.2k on her own - though Jelle did manage to run the final 2km by her side.
In the end, Danielle ended up raising £14,098 in Jelle's name.