Love Conquers All
Ryan & Brad Sea
PHOTOS BY ASHLEY IZQUIERDO • ASHLEYIZQUIERDO.COM
Brad Sea faced a terrifying choice at only 26 years old. In late 2008, the otherwise healthy young man was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, thanks to a grapefruit-sized germ cell tumor in his chest cavity that was growing out of control, smothering his lungs, and pushing his heart to the back corner of his chest.
There was not much hope for treatment with the rare mediastinal non-seminomatous germ cell cancer and he was given six months to live. An aggressive round of chemo shrunk the tumor to a manageable size, but the tumor returned within two months.
“I was given the option of being made comfortable – to die – or to attempt a very risky surgery to try to remove it all,” explained Brad. “I opted for the surgery.”
To the surprise of his medical team, he walked into the operating room – instead of being wheeled in – and announced, “I hope you’re on your A game and had your coffee this morning.”
The surgery was a success, and after one more round of chemo, Brad has been cancer free since 2009. “It was life changing,” he said. “I never gave up and I always knew I would beat this. I live in the moment now and always.”
He’s made the most of the ensuing years, building his business as CEO of Kentuckiana Mortgage Group, located in downtown New Albany. He became a father. He fell in love with his soulmate.
That last one was worth the wait.
Ryan Sea (née Archibald) and Brad had traveled on the edges of each other’s orbits for a while. Occasionally, mutual friends or family would suggest they meet, but they never connected. Brad began following Ryan on social media in 2018 and made a teasing comment on a post to which she responded. A spark ignited and a dinner date was quickly arranged.
“I actually tried to back out at the last minute, but my aunt convinced me to go,” laughed Ryan. Their relationship quickly blossomed and in September 2019, Ryan joined Brad and his daughter, Rorie, then two years old, for a family photo shoot for Brad’s birthday. They met up on the riverfront, near the New Albany amphitheater, and midway through the photo session, Brad popped the question.
Planning a wedding is always a whirlwind, but theirs became a tsunami when by chance, Ryan came across a wedding venue in Tampa, Florida, that was only available two dates in December – just three months away.
“I found the yacht [named] Starship, and we frantically called family and friends to see if the December date would work, and they all said yes,” Ryan recalled. Everyone pitched in to rent an enormous mansion that had 12 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. It was the ultimate family trip.
“The mansion must belong to a celebrity – it was amazing,” said Ryan. “We used a floorplan to figure out where everything was, and we assigned rooms and filmed a video that we sent to family and friends, so they could have a scavenger hunt when they arrived at the house.”
The weekend of celebrating, poolside chats, golf, and catered dinners culminated with Ryan and Brad’s nuptials on the yacht. Brad’s sister, Lakin Wooldridge, officiated the ceremony, which included personally written vows and special nods to little Rorie Sea.
“It felt like a family vacation that just happened to have a wedding on a yacht in the middle of it all,” chuckled Brad. “The weather was perfect, everyone we love was together, and we just relaxed, had fun, and oh yeah, got married.”
“There was dinner and dancing, a chocolate chip wedding cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes, and everyone just had a blast,” added Ryan. “It was simple and intimate. We all lived in that moment.”
Little did they know that their Dec. 20, 2020, wedding was on the heels of a worldwide
The world changed, but they moved forward together through a tumultuous first year. Their business – which Ryan joined as a mortgage broker and marketing coordinator – continued to grow, they moved into a new home in New Albany, and in March 2021, welcomed their first child together, a little boy named Beckham.
The busy family is active in the community, navigating Kentuckiana Mortgage Group, two children, and hours of community support with charities close to their hearts, including Exit O homeless outreach, the (Jimmy) V Foundation, the Floyd County Animal Shelter, Relay for Life and more.
Their next adventure, Brad joked, is surviving parenthood. “We have all we need,” Brad said. “I’m looking forward to kicking back and enjoying life and the kids for a while.”
“We are happy, and healthy, and at the end of
the day we have each other,” Ryan added.
“That’s what life is about.”