Barely three months after Mr Ian Ng and Ms Chan See Ting met on dating app Coffee Meets Bagel, life threw them a curveball.

In June last year, Ms Chan discovered a lump in her breast. While awaiting the results of a biopsy to find out if the lump was malignant, she offered him a guilt-free exit.

“I told Ian that if he wanted to walk away, there would be no hard feelings. Cancer is not a flu that just goes away. It would affect every aspect of our lives, including marriage and family planning,” says Ms Chan.

She was 26. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with stage three triple-negative breast cancer, an uncommon and aggressive variety.

Ms Chan, an only child, had worked as a General Paper tutor and management associate for a group of social enterprises known as Thought Collective before she resigned last month.

Mr Ng, 27, a human resources consultant, pondered her offer carefully. He also considered his parents’ reactions and the prospect of losing Ms Chan prematurely to cancer. But he decided breaking up with her was not an option.

Two months after her diagnosis, when he asked her to be his girlfriend, Mr Ng said to her: “In this life, you may fight more battles than most people, but from now on let’s make them ours to fight together.”

He says: “She is an independent and strong woman with a pure heart and loving nature. Cancer does not diminish her worth as a person.”

Their relationship blossomed in hospital wards and in Ms Chan’s home, where Mr Ng would visit her after her chemotherapy sessions, travelling 1½ hours from his home in West Coast to hers in Bedok.

The couple, whose birthdays are three days apart, booked a staycation at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa last month to celebrate their 27th birthday but he ended up spending the night with her at the National University Hospital after an infection left Ms Chan with a high fever. She was warded for four days.

Their love, forged through fire, is stronger because of these trials.