February 13, 2009

Through Sickness and Health, eHarmony Couple’s Love Story Selected Most Inspirational of the Year

PASADENA, Calif., February 13, 2009—Their vows to support each other through sickness and health will carry extra significance for Oakland, Iowa couple Holly Hinkhouse and Brett Larson when they marry later this year. The couple, recently voted the Most Inspirational eHarmony Couple of 2008, fell in love under circumstances most new relationships could not endure.

Holly and Brett were matched by eHarmony just after Christmas in 2007. Attracted by Brett’s great smile and the thought and detail he put into his profile, Holly decided to take a chance and initiate communication. She waited for Brett’s reply, unaware that he was traveling in Egypt after the holidays and would not see her message for nearly a month.

Upon his return, Holly and Brett began communicating with each other and had scheduled their first date for early February 2008. Then, she recalled, “it hit.” Brett learned he was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of bone cancer that affects only about two out of every 1 million people.

Even though they had only known each other a short time, the experience of Brett’s diagnosis led to a friendship that brought the two closer together. They emailed every day, talked on the phone occasionally and met for lunch after Brett completed six rounds of chemotherapy treatment. Months later, and after four more rounds of chemotherapy, Brett took a chance and asked Holly if she would ever consider being his girlfriend.

“He still had four more rounds of chemotherapy to complete but he was afraid I would move on and find someone else,” Holly recalled. “So, he took a chance and asked me on a date. We had been through so much together and I had never turned my heart away from him, so I was incredibly happy,” she said.

Brett proposed to Holly on October 9, 2008, 22 days before he finished is 14th and final round of chemotherapy and was declared cancer-free.

“It’s amazing to be in love but it seems you can’t get here without listening to your heart and taking chances,” Holly wrote in the story she submitted to eHarmony. “I almost closed the match. He almost let his disease control his life. Fear of losing each other almost kept us apart. None of us knows what the future holds but we are grateful for this day, this love, and this life.”

Holly and Brett were voted the winners of eHarmony’s Most Inspirational eHarmony Couple of 2008 contest after receiving thousands of votes from members of the eHarmony Advice community. They will be awarded a romantic 4 day/3 night Luxury Included® Vacation to any Sandals Resort.

“The show of support from our friends, family, and community during this contest has been a tremendously touching experience for us,” said Holly. “It has been a joy sharing our story with others and showing just how well eHarmony can work.”

“With 236 eHarmony members marrying each day, The Most Inspirational eHarmony Couple of 2008 Contest was a special opportunity to share some of the amazing stories we receive,” said Greg Waldorf, CEO of eHarmony. “Each and every success story is inspirational to us and we’d like to congratulate all of our success couples for finding meaningful long-term relationships. Most importantly my congratulations to Holly and Brett for being The Most Inspirational eHarmony Couple of 2008 whose success story exemplifies the compatibility shared by couples who are matched on eHarmony.”

About eHarmony, Inc. Santa Monica, Calif.-based eHarmony, Inc. eHarmony, Inc. ( was founded in 2000 and is a pioneer in using relationship science to match singles seeking long-term relationships. Its service presents users with compatible matches based on key dimensions of personality that are scientifically proven to predict highly successful long-term relationships. New peer-reviewed research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) ranks eHarmony as number one for producing the most marriages and the most satisfied marriages. Of all meeting places measured, eHarmony also had the lowest divorce rate.b On average, 438 people marry every day in the U.S. as a result of being matched on eHarmony, nearly 4% of new marriages.b Currently, eHarmony operates online matchmaking services in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Brazil.
bBased on data on 19,131 marriages from 2005 to 2012 by Harris Interactive, couples that met on eHarmony had significantly fewer breakups than couples who met via all other methods combined. Combining methods that account for less than 1% of marriages sampled."

* 2012 survey conducted for eHarmony by Harris Interactive.®

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