Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie will mark an emotional turning point this weekend by celebrating a close ally's successful fight against cancer.
Christie has invited Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to join him for a New Hampshire town hall meeting in Peterborough and a drop by visit to a Manchester sports bar. But their visit will go beyond politics.
NBC News has learned that the pair will celebrate Hogan's recent announcement that he is now cancer-free with a ceremonial cutting of lime green wristbands emblazoned with the words "Hogan Strong."
Christie and wife Mary Pat have been wearing the neon bands as a show of support since June when Hogan, a first term governor, announced that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Doctors found Hogan had numerous tumors in several parts of his body.
The Maryland governor endured 18 weeks of chemotherapy that also changed his appearance, most notably losing his full head of silver hair. A Christie adviser told NBC News the wristband cutting “will hopefully be a good moment between good friends.”
At a news conference last month, Hogan announced to Marylanders, “Incredibly, I am 100 percent cancer free and in a complete remission."
He will continue to be monitored by his doctors.
The political fates of Christie and Hogan have been intertwined since 2014 when Christie, as head of the Republican Governors Association, devoted significant time and RGA financial resources to Hogan’s long shot bid.
Christie personally campaigned for him in Maryland several times. In a stunning upset, Hogan won big in the heavily Democratic state and he invited Christie to attend his inaugural. By July, Hogan showed his loyalty by endorsing Christie early in his own long shot campaign for the GOP presidential nomination.