A Heart Wrenching Tale of Love and Loss

For seven years, producer John Strand and Deanna Lynn Hartman were strictly friends. But Cupid’s arrow was about to strike when, in 2011, Deanna asked John to help host the Hollywood Christmas Parade. John and Deanna’s friendship blossomed into romance.

For seven months they were blissfully happy, acknowledging that in each other, they had found their soul mate. John, 47, and Deanna, 39, were so in love, they naturally wanted to take the next step — get married and have children.  Shortly after becoming engaged, Deanna visited her physician for what she expected was a routine investigation into the viability of a potential pregnancy.  But something else came to light. The doctors ran tests. Deanna had cancer.

On July 7, 2012, their lives would be forever changed–it wasn’t just any cancer, but stage-4B cervical cancer.  According to traditional, Western medicine, it was a veritable death sentence.  However, Deanna was familiar with the possibilities available through alternative and holistic medicine and she and John worked together as a united and loving team to set about making her well again.

And they had success! There was hope and there was love–a lot of it. In John’s words: “This was the greatest love story — two people finding their soul mates. Even though Deanna was sick, for us, it was the happiest time of our lives and you’d be hard pressed to find a couple who doted on each other and loved each other more than we did.” Their bond grew deeper by the day, their love stronger, and Deanna was improving. [The video featured directly below was when John and Deanna had to seek out other options for treatment after traditional modern medicine failed]

But the pair would be torn apart after Deanna’s family intervened during an out-of-state stay in New Mexico. The  Hartman family allegedly lured Deanna into what was ostensibly intended to be a visit with her half-sister in Santa Clarita.  [More on this in the coming articles.] It would be the last time John saw her. The couple had originally planned to marry on June 15, 2013  – sadly, this was not to happen. John never got the chance to say goodbye to his beloved future-wife.  They were cut off from one another. Never to make contact again by phone or in person. Deanna passed away on June 9, 2013. She was 40. But, oh, how the couple fought tooth and nail to save their love…

John Strand  and the Dream Big Foundation have teamed up to present an eight part serialization of John and Deanna’s story, that will examine the depths of despair, but also the sheer exhilaration that comes from being in love. You won’t want to miss a moment of this must-read series, which features raw video that, at times, is utterly gut-wrenching, heart-rending and ultimately life-affirming.

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