During the latest episode of The Bachelorette, fans learned even more about the backstory of Michael Allio, who shared some one-on-one time with Katie Thurston and opened up about his romantic past.
The episode focused heavily on Katie’s intent to learn even more about the real stories behind the men who were her suitors this season.
During a group date which was attended by former franchise star Nick Viall, Katie and the men sat in a circle and allowed more insight into who they were as people, dependent on how honest they were.
While some men appeared to let their guard down, others did not and continued to build up a façade around their persona.
Thurston reflected that she felt “liberated” sharing her past with the nine men on her group date, which asked her selected contestants to discuss difficult experiences.
During this talk, Katie spoke of her own sexual assault which occurred a decade earlier. She said she didn’t plan to share her story, but was inspired by the vulnerability of others, who shared struggles with alcohol and the death of a spouse.
Michael A. shared his heartbreak
Michael A. revealed that he lost his wife to cancer during the group date. During one-on-one time with Katie, he shared more of his story.
The Akron, Ohio native shared his loss and told Katie that he loved his late wife Laura Ritter-Allio to this day. He cried while he expressed his feelings for his late wife as The Bachelorette star patiently listened to the story of their love.
Laura Allio battled breast cancer in 2017. She died less than two years later. Allio founded The L4 Project a month after his wife’s death. According to the L4 website, its mission is to “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.”
Michael and Laura welcomed one son
Michael and Laura welcomed a son they named James a year before she was diagnosed with cancer. The couple was married for seven years. Michael and Laura wed in 2012 after meeting while students at college at Loyola University Chicago.
In her bio on the L4 website, it said that Laura had many passions and created space in her life to “accommodate each of them with remarkable success and grace. 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.”
The couple formed a community of family and friends in Ohio, who stuck by the young couple as they battled the disease together. In one photo, Laura, James, and Michael were seen in an Instagram upload ringing a bell that signified the end of her chemotherapy treatments. Sadly, her battle with the disease did not end after the uplifting photo was taken.
In 2020, Michael spoke of his late wife in the caption to a birthday post for their son, who celebrated his fourth birthday.
“Trust me when I say this…your beautiful mother, our magnificent angel, is so incredibly proud of you. She tells me this all the time,” he wrote, followed by a tribute to the little boy they loved so much on his special day.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.