Laura Ritter-Allio is the late wife of “The Bachelorette” contestant Michael Allio. She lost a two-year battle to breast cancer in 2019. Allio is currently competing for Katie Thurston’s heart on the hit dating show.
“Laura had many passions and created space in her life to accommodate each of them with remarkable success and grace,” according to her Legacy.com obituary. “Her husband, Michael, and her son, James, were at the top of her list and together they enjoyed cooking, hiking in the Metroparks, visiting their favorite vacation spot in Loreto, Mexico, golfing, simple moments at home, and entertaining the company of the friends and family who made their lives so full.”
She was also passionate about philanthropy and advocacy, according to her obituary.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ritter-Allio Had a Master’s Degree From the University of Notre Dame
According to Ritter-Allio’s Legacy.com obituary, “Laura’s natural curiosity and love of learning laid the foundation for her passion as an entrepreneur.”
Excelling in academics in high school, according to her obituary, she went on to attend Loyola University Chicago, where she met her future husband. In 2007 she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in business administration and honors in finance and marketing.
Ritter-Allio continued her education at the University of Notre Dame, earning an MBA in 2012 “with a dual concentration in investments and corporate finance,” according to her obituary.
2. Ritter-Allio & Allio Were Married in 2012
Before her death, Ritter-Allio and Allio were married for approximately seven years after first meeting in college. According to her Legacy.com obituary, “Laura and Michael created a life together grounded on the philosophies of love, family, laughter, and faith.”
The couple walked down the aisle in 2012. They eventually set up a life in Akron, Ohio, which her obituary described as the “community she so loved.”
3. The Couple Welcomed Son James in 2016
Less than a year before her cancer diagnosis, Ritter-Allio welcomed son James Michael on September 9, 2016.
Through her social media posts, she credited her son and husband for motivating her while she had cancer but also opened up about the difficulties of parenting while sick. In a Facebook Live video shared by The Breast Cancer Site, Ritter-Allio said, “Honestly, I hate the fact that I think about, you know, ‘Ooh, should I be resting for treatment? Or should I be helping my son when he wakes up, and my husband when he wakes up, at 4:00 AM?’ Those are things that are really difficult. But also, you know, things that I’m thankful about, because I come home and this little peanut’s here.”
Allio mentioned his late wife during a 2020 birthday tribute to his son. “And trust me when I say this…your beautiful mother, our magnificent angel, is so incredibly proud of you,” he wrote on Instagram. “She tells me this all the time.”
4. Ritter-Allio Was Diagnosed With Breast Cancer in 2017
Ritter-Allio revealed on Facebook in April 2017 that she was diagnosed with breast cancer after noticing a lump in her armpit.
She documented her journey battling cancer online. As her obituary put it, “Laura’s regular updates on social media created a community of people, survivors, advocates, and followers who learned from her, were inspired by her and were rooting for her.”
Her obituary described her as “positive” through her two-year battle with cancer. She “was seemingly on the path to recovery,” but as her sister-in-law revealed in a GoFundMe campaign, test results she received on August 23, 2018, revealed lesions on her liver that confirmed the cancer had returned. Allio’s sister raised $73,440, well surpassing the goal of $25,000, to help fund the new aggressive treatments needed to fight the stage-four cancer.
Ritter-Allio lost her battle with breast cancer on January 23, 2019. According to her obituary, she was “surrounded at home by family and friends” when she died.
5. Allio Started The L4 Project in Her Honor
The Sun reported that Allio founded The L4 Project a month after his wife’s death. According to the L4 website, the charitable organization’s mission is “to enrich the lives of people and families battling cancer by supporting organizations that provide financial, experiential, emotional and other assistance during times of hardship.”
The organization raises money through various activities, primarily through the sale of “cause-inspired” apparel. According to the website, 100% of the profits go to organizations that provide “direct financial support, transportation, health care system navigation, counseling and lifestyle experiences” to cancer patients.
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