Happy ending for the happy couple -- and their mothers

A speech by the Ravens' John Harbaugh brought together Amy Grimes and Nancy Sumpter, and their children.

When Matt Bayne's mother first tried to match-make him with her friend's daughter, the bachelor and avid fisherman didn't bite.

"I kept saying, 'Whatever, Mom. I'm busy fishing on weekends.'"

But Bayne was no match for his mother, Amy Grimes, especially with the help of Grimes' new friend, Nancy Sumpter, whose daughter, Amanda, also was single and liked to fish. The mothers already had a common bond — breast cancer — and a common cause, to get their children hitched.

"I think they were both scheming," said Bayne, a service technician for office furniture and automated filing systems.

Now, the happy couple have set a wedding date of Sept. 24, 2016, and they had an engagement party Nov. 4 at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, in Towson, where both of their mothers work — Sumpter as a nurse-practitioner in the nursery for babies in intensive care, and Grimes as a surgical inventory manager.

St. Joe's is also where both women had their chemotherapy, and where Amanda Sumpter works as a clerk in the hospital's labor and delivery unit.

Now, as Bayne, 31, and his fiance, 27, prepare to live happily ever after, so are their moms, who said they are cancer-free.

"We have our hair back. We beat it," said Grimes. Both women are having reconstructive breast surgery; Grimes this month and Nancy Sumpter in mid-December.

"I'll be home in time for Christmas," Sumpter said.

Nancy Sumpter, of Perry Hall, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2013. Grimes, of Parkville, was diagnosed four months later. Sumpter worked nights and Grimes worked days. They had never met and their paths might not have crossed if St. Joe's hadn't chosen 20 employees at random to hear a motivational speech by Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh at Towson University's SECU Arena, as part of the hospital's 150th anniversary celebration in April 2014.

Hearing Harbaugh was an especially big thrill for Nancy Sumpter, a huge Ravens fan. Even better was meeting Grimes, who was wearing a pink breast cancer lanyard holding her hospital employee badge.

"I said, 'Do you have breast cancer?' She said, 'yes.' I said, 'My chemo starts tomorrow.' Amy had already had round one."

They found out they were the same age, 61, and that their children were around the same age, unmarried and loved fishing. That got them thinking.

"There's this girl," Grimes told her son.

"They were both excited to put us on a date," Amanda Sumpter said. "I was OK with it," especially when she heard that Bayne was a fisherman and owned a boat. "That was a selling point," she said.

The singles looked at photos of each other on Facebook and Bayne thought, "What have I got to lose?"

They met at Outback Steakhouse, in Perry Hall, for their first date on May 7, 2014.

"Pretty much right off the bat, we hit it off," Bayne said.

When they left, they immediately began texting to plan not one, but two dates.

"I knew we hit it off," Amanda Sumpter said.

Bayne invited her to go out on his boat. She began to hang out with him and his friends when they played pool in a weekly league.

"Then it got serious," and they had their first fishing date at the Conowingo Reservoir, Bayne said.

"That was a great date," Amanda Sumpter said. "We took a selfie with a fish. It's one of my favorite photos. We actually caught a couple of fish."

They got engaged on the one-year anniversary of their first date. Bayne had planned to propose at dinner at the Melting Pot, in Towson, where they had agreed to exchange anniversary gifts.

"Mine was the ring," Bayne said. But he couldn't wait, and proposed in his truck.

Nancy Sumpter was so excited that she wrote a letter to Harbaugh to tell him the whole story. She got a letter back, on letterhead "from the desk of John Harbaugh," telling her, "God works in awesome ways."

She had it framed.

She also told the story to St. Joe's Chief Executive Officer Mohan Suntha, who texted her, "This is so exciting."

St. Joe's went to work planning the catered engagement party, which was held in the hospital's Cancer Institute and featured a blessing from hospital chaplain Judy Hvisc, as well as kind words from Nancy Sumpter's and Amy Grimes' oncology doctor at the Cancer Institute, Dr. Michael Schultz, who said that after what the two mothers had been through, "We only want to hear good things in the future."

As for the future, the couple is planning their honeymoon.

"The Caribbean would be nice," or more likely Florida, Amanda Sumpter said — "somewhere we can fish and lay on the beach."

Bayne, meanwhile, owes his mother, Amy Grimes, an apology.

"I can't say 'whatever' anymore," he said. "Everybody always says moms know best."

Amanda's mother, Nancy Sumpter, knows, too.

"These two were made for each other," she said.

And so are their mothers.

"We're best friends," Nancy Sumpter said.

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