The Real Life "The Fault in Our Stars" Couple
Often, when we read a work of fiction, we don’t think much more of it than that. You'd think, “Hey, that was a good book,” or perhaps something along those lines. However, when a book is well-written enough, it can encapsulate readers and bring them into an entirely new world, often making us forget that we’re in reality, tucked away in our rooms under a small reading lamp. I have discovered that authors like J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, and John Green are magnificent at engrossing readers in their stories.
For those unaware, The Fault in Our Stars is a novel written by American author and vlogger, John Green. Not only are John Green’s books well-written, but the stories he tells within the books are very realistic and relatable. As you may have guessed, the title is an allusion to Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, in which Cassius remarks, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” The plot for John Green’s novel begins with sixteen-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster. Hazel was battling thyroid cancer which was spreading to her lungs, and soon her mother asked her to attend a support group for cancer patients. During her first day at the support group, she ran into a boy named Augustus Waters, whom she subsequently falls in love with. Throughout the book, both teenagers are battling cancer and are forced to make sacrifices and choices based on their health and desires. John Green's story, although fictional, followed a surreal tale of two teenagers attempting to enjoy their lives while trying to cope with cancer. Upon reading it, I was struck with a thought, “Wow, what an incredible book.” It wasn't too long afterward that I discovered an actual couple who are essentially the real-life embodiment of Hazel and Augustus.
Katie and Dalton Prager met on Facebook at the age of eighteen, and both teenagers were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. The pair lived a life that mirrored Hazel and Augustus, albeit one lived in Kentucky and the other in Missouri. Their doctors warned the two not to meet up, as the dangerous bacteria in cystic fibrosis was especially contagious. Their warnings are akin to those in The Fault in Our Stars when Augustus and Hazel were advised not to travel to Amsterdam to meet their idol, Peter van Houten. Despite their doctors' warnings, Dalton's mother drove him down to Kentucky so that the two could finally meet. Less than two years later, they got married and purchased a house together. In 2014, both the young adults had bad lungs which were deteriorating and needed to be replaced. Although successful, Dalton was soon faced with lymphoma, pneumonia, and a viral infection. A year after his transplant, Katie underwent the same surgery. However, she struggled with hers, and soon the doctors declared that there was nothing more they could do to help, placing her in hospice care. The pair last met back in July, for their fifth wedding anniversary. Dalton’s illness took him on Saturday, September 17th, and Katie succumbed to her illness the following Thursday, after requesting to leave the hospital to be home, surrounded by her family and dogs.
Authors who can tell their tales in a compelling manner are powerful. They can instill ideas and sentiments in people’s heads, such as the desire to hop onto a magic school bus and experience thrilling adventures. Many people find Nicholas Sparks' books to be enchanting due to the compelling love stories he writes about in his novels. John Green’s books are often enthralling to readers, and they can take you into his fictional worlds, making you feel as though you are right there with the characters. It is evident why a novel such as The Fault in Our Stars would be heartbreaking to discover is the reality someone has lived.