‘Say Yes to the Dress’ Margo Ambler Died Fighting Cancer “With Every Ounce of Her Being”

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Jul. 18 2021, Published 11:26 a.m. ET

Longtime Say Yes to the Dress viewers might remember Margo Ambler (née Mallory), the bride who died of cervical cancer before her episode aired… but not before she got a chance to walk down the aisle with her husband, Derek.

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As Margo told viewers, she was in the middle of a five-month round of chemotherapy while filming her episode — Season 9’s “Queen for the Day” — and she and Derek decided to push up their nuptials. “We actually weren’t supposed to get married until next year, and we both decided that more than anything, after I was done [with] my fight, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than with our wedding.”

Margo was diagnosed with cervical cancer in December 2011.

On her blog, Margo told readers that she got her cancer diagnosis in 2011, just after returning from a Thanksgiving vacation to Turks and Caicos with Derek, and only weeks after she and he got engaged. After the trip, Margo started feeling unwell, so she booked a doctor’s appointment.

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“I will never forget what I thought when the doctor told me the news,” she wrote. “The first thing that ran through my mind was, ‘I don’t want to die.’ I had just been told that I had cervical cancer. Cancer? But I thought that it was nothing serious? How is this possible? The gynecologist couldn’t tell us much about my cancer; all she could tell me is that I had always done everything right. But if I did everything right, then why am I sitting here? … I had just been told that I had cancer, but now I wished more than anything that I could go back to not knowing, go back to what I considered ‘normal.’”

She got married in August 2012.

Margo and Derek had a destination wedding, tying the knot in Punta Cana on Aug. 8, 2012. “Every time I feel like I can’t get through another day, I picture myself marrying Derek on the beach,” she blogged. “I know that this is what we deserve, and what is going to make us both happy.”

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And TLC cameras were rolling when Margo — dressed in her $2,500 Alita Graham gown — said her “I do’s” with Derek. “I’m feeling great. I got to marry the love of my life today. She looks gorgeous,” the groom said on the show.

Added Margo, “Our wedding symbolizes no matter what anyone throws at us, we will still stand by each other’s side.”

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Margo passed away the following month.

Margo’s mother, Hilliary, announced Margo’s death on her daughter’s blog, writing, “My beautiful, kind, generous, artistic, thoughtful, innocent, newlywed daughter lost her all-too-brief battle with cancer on Sept. 21, 2012. … Margo spent her last hours battling this horrific disease with every ounce of her being, just as she did every day since receiving her diagnosis in December of 2011.”

Hilliary also spoke to her daughter’s resilience. “Margo never wanted to hear the odds she was up against and faced every appointment, surgery, treatment, and scan with a smile on her face, making friends along the way. … I continue to miss my Margo deeply and struggle daily to find my way in a world void of her scrunched-nose smile. … We were not given a choice about Margo’s illness or the outcome, but we do have a choice as to what we will do with our pain. … We can let it tear us apart, or we can let it bring out greatness. I know what Margo is cheering for.”

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