DC Love Gone Viral Winners

Meet Ivy and Tom

Get a Peek at Ivy & Tom’s Application to learn why they were chosen for DC Love Gone Viral’s Wedding Giveaway!

We met while working as researchers at the National Institutes of Health in one of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s labs! It was a post-baccalaureate program for graduating college students interested in the medical field. Tom was already working in the lab, and I joined the following summer. Our relationship evolved from a friendship to true love relatively quickly, and the DMV area played a huge part in that journey. We loved going to monuments, Jazz in the Garden, MadHatter, Rock Creek Park, Le Diplomate, Jumbo Slice — you name it; we’ve been there together. After connecting in DC, we moved up to southern Maine for medical school. There, we had four years of studying, clinicals, and board exams. We were always there to support each other and were each other’s backbones through it all. We always hoped to get back to DC, and that came true in 2018. We got amazing news that our hard work paid off, and we had “couples matched” at our top choice residency program in DC! Tom, as an Ob/Gyn resident at Georgetown/Medstar Washington Hospital Center and I, as an anesthesia resident at Georgetown University Hospital. We are currently in our third year of training and could not be happier that we were able to come back to where our whole journey started.

We have always described our relationship as one big adventure, and that also accurately describes our engagement story. In between shifts at the hospital, Tom set in motion the most amazing/comprehensive/thoughtful proposal ever! It was a weekend we finally had off together — after sleeping in a bit, I woke up and found a note that said, “I thought it would be fun to celebrate our anniversary a little different this year. Can you follow the clues to find our dinner spot?…” Needless to say, this note began a day full of surprises and adventures — 14 stops and 23 miles of adventures, to be exact. Every detail was perfectly accounted for and set. For example, Tom downloaded the Capital Bikeshare app on my phone while I was sleeping the night before to bike to the different destinations. In addition, he added an “emergency contact” if I decided I didn’t want to bike or walk anymore (given it was 90 degrees with possible storms that day). To summarize what this scavenger hunt entailed (though, I really can’t do it justice in just words) — Tom had chosen 14 locations to plant his clues — each location played a significant role in our relationship as one of our favorite spots or favorite restaurants. How did he get the clues where they needed to be, you ask? He had a few amazing helpers. His awesome sister (i.e., my emergency contact) was placing the clues around the city throughout the day (Lincoln Memorial, DC Veterans Monument, Moongate Gardens etc.). In addition, Tom contacted local restaurants (Le Diplomate, Baked and Wired, Rooster and Owl, Call Your Mother, and more) to get them in on the plan; each restaurant that we stopped at left a clue in our take out bags. The second to last stop in the scavenger hunt was one of our favorite restaurants and also the place where I first told him I liked him — Cactus Cantina. From there, we walked to the National Cathedral Gardens — a place we often go to relax and picnic. It was in the gazebo, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I never thought I would cry during my proposal — but how could I not after all of the love that was poured into that day — just for me.

As resident physicians, we have seen and felt the burden of the Covid pandemic. It has impacted us in every way from the added stress and mental/emotional weight at work to how we are able to/not able to plan a wedding. On top of the uncertainty of what the future brings, the crazy “Covid schedules” at work have made it very difficult to plan for a wedding. Like most people, Covid has made it almost impossible to see friends and family to celebrate the engagement. But add the additional stress that hospital work has provided, and we really have not had time to plan a wedding. Our jobs, as residents, have pushed us to the front lines and completely shifted our focus from wedding planning to hospital planning. As an anesthesia resident, Ivy works with the hospital’s sickest patients on a daily basis. She is in a specialty that puts her at greatest risk given her knowledge in respiratory physiology and airway management. She has put her wedding dreams on hold as she prioritizes her patients and the safety of others. On the other hand, I am an Ob/Gyn resident and have worked to help women navigate this difficult time. From expecting mothers who had a detailed plan of how they thought their deliveries would go to women with ovarian cancer waiting for their surgeries, everyone has struggled with this pandemic. While we have been lucky to stay safe and healthy thus far during the pandemic, we have had to put wedding planning on the back burner. This amazing opportunity for a wedding, with the support of local sponsors, would help us so much. On top of that, the financial help with all of our student loans would be unbelievable. We would be so thankful and honored to be chosen for this amazing gift! Thank you for your consideration!

Love Gone Viral


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