MICHAEL Allio was among the final four contestants on Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette.
Allio’s love life was struck with tragedy in 2019 after his wife passed away, leaving him a single parent to their son.
What happened to Bachelorette star Michael Allio’s wife?
Michael Allio’s wife, Laura Ritter-Allio, passed away from cancer in 2019 at the age of 33.
Allio and Ritter-Allio met while they were students at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois. After meeting, the couple got married in 2012.
After a few years of marriage, the couple welcomed their son, James Michael, on September 9, 2016.
Less than a year after their son’s birth, Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2017.
“It’s been really scary. It’s been heartbreaking. But I think it’s really important that we talk about this — because I’m 32. And I never thought it could happen to me,” Ritter-Allio said in a video documenting her journey.
Philanthropy was always a passion of Ritta-Allio’s and when she was diagnosed with cancer, she gathered a following to share her cancer journey on Facebook.
Allio’s sister created a GoFundMe to support the family through their cancer journey with a fundraising goal of $25k – the page received over $73k in donations.
What is the L4 Project?
Allio and his wife were “committed to creating a purpose to their pain,” and a month after she passed, he created The L4 Project to continue her legacy.
The L4 Project page explains: “The courage, determination, and selflessness that Laura demonstrated throughout her life and during her cancer journey inspired thousands to look inward, gain perspective and make the drastic changes necessary to live a ‘life worth living.'”
“The L4 Project seeks to continue her great work by ensuring that these noble organizations are given the financial resources need to carry out their important work,” the website states.
Their website has apparel for sale and 100% of the profits go towards nonprofit organizations that address the needs and help the lives of those fighting cancer.
Since his appearance on the show, the L4 Project has grown.
“If you’re waiting for your order, please know we’re not Amazon,” Michael said on Instagram. “We’re just a small group of dedicated volunteers that have a personal and emotional connection to Laura and this project.
“We’re going to get it out to you soon, I promise. All this money will go toward supporting amazing causes and people that need it. I’m floored by how wonderful people can be.”
Was Michael Allio eliminated from The Bachelorette season?
Michael had a “big decision” of his own as he questioned whether he should continue on his quest for love or return home.
In a heartbreaking phone call with his son, the single dad is visibly distraught, telling the toddler: “I miss you like crazy, buddy.”
Audio can be heard of his son saying: “Maybe Daddy don’t want to see me.”
Michael opened up on the “Happy Hour” podcast following the June 21, 2021 episode that he originally never applied to be a contestant on the show.
He said that producers had reached out to him through Instagram to be a suitor, and after saying no twice, he finally agreed to go on the show.
Michael also revealed that he asked his in-laws for permission before going on the show in honor of Laura.
“My decision to begin this journey is not just mine. There’s a lot of people who are affected in my world, people I love and cherish, and so I did say that before I decided, I wouldn’t go unless my in-laws gave me full approval.”
Is Michael Allio on Bachelor in Paradise?
Allio is returning to Bachelor Nation in season eight of Bachelor in Paradise.
Speaking about his abrupt departure from The Bachelorette, Allio told Entertainment Tonight that he and his son are better prepared this time.
“He’s in good hands,” Allio told the outlet, adding that his son would be staying with his grandparents.
“Since we’ve had some history of doing this in the past, we were a little bit more prepared this time around,” Allio said.
“When I told him I was going away, he was like, ‘I’m going to have so much more fun than you.’ And I’m like, ‘Little do you know.'”
ABC released a short clip of Allio, who has appeared to make improvements to his physique and is expected to have a more successful season than he did on The Bachelorette.
The clip highlighted his “self-improvement” efforts and in a teaser, Allio said: “This is dad going to summer camp.”