Patrick Swayze’s widow reflects on finding love again: ‘Just because you lose someone doesn’t mean love stops’
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After 34 years of marriage to Patrick Swayze, his widow Lisa Niemi Swayze found love again.
In 2014, the actress and author married jeweler Albert DePrisco. They met through mutual friends.
"I love Patrick so much - and it's interesting because that hasn't changed when it comes to finding new love," the 66-year-old told Good Morning America on Monday. "Just because you lose someone doesn't mean the love stops."
Niemi Swayze noted that she and DePrisco "felt so blessed to find each other because we still have a lot of love to give and it's wonderful to find someone to give it to."
'DIRTY DANCING' STAR PATRICK SWAYZE'S WIFE PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE LATE ACTOR AHEAD OF THE FILM'S 35TH ANNIVERSARY
Albert DePrisco and Lisa Niemi Swayze said "I do" in 2014. He has fully supported her work to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.
And she's just as determined to keep the late star's legacy alive.
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The actor, who starred in numerous hit films such as "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost," died of advanced pancreatic cancer in 2009. He was born on November 57th. November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
"I've always said, especially in the roles Patrick enjoyed playing, that he always liked being the hero," she said. "I always say, 'You give him a sword, a cloak and a horse, and he's a happy man.' But I'll tell you, when it came to fighting his disease, this disease, you really saw it that he was... a hero. "
Swayze was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in January 2008. He died in September 2009 after a "sincere, grueling, hard and determined struggle for 22 months," she said.
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Niemi Swayze said she still remembers one particular day during her husband's cancer battle when they were walking around their New Mexico ranch. It's a memory burned into her mind over the years.
"It was a beautiful day and his eyes were shining and he was like, 'I want to live,'" she recalled. "I know everyone else out there dealing with this disease and their families feel the same way."
Swayze first met his wife, a native of Houston, at one of his mother's dance classes. They married in 1975 and remained together until his death. Niemi Swayze told the outlet that his battle with the disease brought out a side of him "that he always wanted to be," which was a "really brave, humble, loving, determined [and] strong" person.
"He had his moments," she said. "But of course Patrick was always aware that he was the one who would pay the ultimate price. You know, it's just not fair that he had to be taken so early in life. I don't want that to happen to other people."
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"The only way we can stop [pancreatic cancer] is through funding and research and better treatments and early detection," she added.
In 2012, Niemi Swayze wrote a book called Worth Fighting For: Love, Loss and Moving Forward. It describes the couple's final months together, her experiences as a caregiver and how she dealt with the grief.
"It never goes away over time," she said. "It's like a wound that heals, but there's always that scar. And she may not be as visible, but she's always there, and you never know when she'll lift her head again."
The widow admitted that this year has been a difficult one. August 18 would have been Swayze's 70th birthday.
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Patrick Swayze would have turned 70 on August 18.
"It all came back to me," she explained. "But, you know what? It's dissolving and I've learned to take the good with the bad. And, you know, the bad parts are the price of having a wonderful, big love - and I take that every day of the week. I would do it again.”
Niemi Swayze hopes her story resonates with caregivers. She also encouraged those who are dealing with the disease and their loved ones to "be brave together". She described how it was a "great honor" to help raise awareness.
"Just because Patrick died...didn't mean the fight was over and I continued it for him," she said.
American actress and director
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