“This is a week later after the GoFundMe was launched, the response has incredible,” Harold, 41, exclusively tells In Touch on Wednesday, August 16. “I have returned hundreds of messages and have passed on so many messages of hope and good energy. I so wish I could of showed Michaela this level of support a year ago when she had to miss our first meeting off-camera for immediate surgery.”
His statement continues, “I have conveyed the thoughts and prayers and she says thanks. Michaela continues her chemo treatments every 14 days and has some upcoming resonance and scans to look forward to.”
He reiterated that he was “grateful” their $20,000 fundraising goal was surpassed as he could not have “dreamed large enough compared to the love and support of the fans and followers.”
Harold revealed Michaela’s cancer battle after starting a GoFundMe fundraiser when he learned that she was struggling to pay for necessities.
“I was to meet with her off-camera for the first time, she had to cancel,” Harold wrote in the description of the fundraiser. “From an all too brief 1 minute phone call she told me, ‘I am at the hospital about to undergo surgery.’ I heard tears in her voice as she said, ‘I have ovarian cancer and won’t be able to have children.’”
Harold disclosed that both producers and the matchmaker were previously unaware of Michaela’s cancer battle. For the remainder of the filming, he chose to stay silent onscreen about the sad news he learned.
“It’s not my story to tell. The sadness in my eyes in the scene where I am wearing a suit is from this,” the health field professional continued. “The show was wonderfully and kindly cut so as not to share this either. This happened at the end of July 2022. Fast forward a few weeks, I learned she had her ovaries and womb removed.”
Harold and Michaela were introduced on season 1 of Match Me Abroad, which debuted on TLC in May 2023. During the series, the New Mexico native enlisted the help of Katarina, a Czech Republic-based matchmaker, and met Michaela during one of his blind dates.
While the pair hit it off during the series, Harold ultimately “understood” why Michaela couldn’t commit long-term to being his girlfriend.
“She did not know the future and did not want to put me through such pain and loss,” Harold concluded in the GoFundMe, revealing what happened between the couple after filming. “Fast forward months, she learns she has stomach cancer and will be on chemo treatments every 14 days for the rest of her life, of which I have no idea how long she has. We continue to text back and forth, and we converse at length a few times a month, depending on how she’s feeling. I continue sending messages several times a week wishing for her recovery.”
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