Adrienne Watkins was Mark Pilgrim’s fianceé. They got engaged on the 2023 New Year’s Eve and were hoping to get married before Pilgrim’s demise in March 2023.
After two years of dating Adrienne Watkins, Mark Pilgrim was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in February 2022 and was given only three months to live. Adrienne, however, stood by his side throughout his fight against cancer and gave him all the support and care that he needed. The couple planned on getting married once Pilgrim’s health improved, but sadly, the esteemed radio presenter died tragically on March 5th, 2023, aged 53.
Was Mark Pilgrim Married to Adrienne Watkins?
No, Mark Pilgrim was not married to Adrienne Watkins but the two were engaged. The late Hot 102.7 FM radio host was planning on entering his second marriage with the love of his life before losing his battle with stage four lung cancer. Before Adrienne, Mark was married to Nicole Torres for 13 years and had two daughters – Tayla-Jean and Alyssa.
He then began dating Adrienne after his separation from Nicole in 2020 and their love continued growing strong even in their most difficult times. After spending 64 days at the hospital due to a collapsed lung, Mark Pilgrim arrived home and the first thing he did was to propose to Adrienne Watkins on December 31st, 2022. Filled with excitement and shock, Adrienne said ‘Yes’ and the two couldn’t wait to walk down the aisle. Pilgrim, however, wasn’t strong enough as he was receiving cancer treatment.
They had to halt their wedding plans until the late radio DJ could be strong enough to stand at the altar. Although Mark Pilgrim knew he was going to propose to his girlfriend, he didn’t know when it was going to happen as he had mostly been in the hospital and desired to propose to Adrienne at home. So he had to wait until he got home to propose and the timing was perfect as his girlfriend’s family visited from England and were present during the engagement.
Mark Pilgrim’s wedding to Adrienne motivated him to fight courageously and hopefully, recover quickly. Tragically, he passed away in the morning hours of Sunday, March 5th, 2023 in the presence of his fianceé, Adrienne Watkins, and two daughters.
How did Mark Pilgrim Meet Adrienne?
Mark Pilgrim met Adrienne Watkins through mutual friends after getting divorced from his wife, Nicole Torres in 2020. The duo began dating in late 2020 and were head over heels in love with each other. Little wonder, Adrienne described her romance with the late radio personality as a ‘fairytale’. She was charmed by her partner’s generosity, compassion, kindness, and courage.
And the two passionately loved one another and were inseparable. Following Pilgrim’s diagnosis of stage four lung cancer, Adrienne Watkins surrounded him with love, support, and positivity, for which she has been praised by many South Africans. She was by his side till the end, and though the late broadcaster had a tough battle with cancer, he died a happy man, thanks to Adrienne’s unwavering support and care.
In one of the videos he shared on his YouTube channel, Mark Pilgrim reflected on the importance of having a supportive partner. He stated that his journey to recovery would have been so much harder if he had gone through it alone, but Watkins had been one of his pillars towards his journey to recovery. He gushed that he was blessed to have an angel on earth in the person of his fianceé. He also wished everyone going through a similar journey to have ‘an Adrienne’ at their side too.
Adrienne Watkins’ Fiancé’s Tough Fight with Cancer
At the age of 18, Mark Pilgrim was diagnosed with aggressive stage three testicular cancer. When he realized that his testicle started swelling, he didn’t do anything about it, as he didn’t want his mom to have a look if he told her about it. Having stayed for long before opening up, the cancer spread to his lungs and kidneys. And thankfully, he survived the cancer after undergoing treatment.
Later in 2022, the year Pilgrim was to mark 33 years in remission, he announced in February that he had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, but didn’t reveal to the public that the doctors had given him three months to live. Following the diagnosis, Mark Pilgrim underwent intensive treatment which included a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy.
He also took a variety of non-prescription medications like medicinal mushrooms and vitamins. He further had his lungs and abdomen drained and equally, had long hours of blood transfusions. Unfortunately, he suffered collapsed lung which led to multiple related issues in September 2022. Consequently, he underwent seven medical procedures to address the collapsed lungs. And he stayed at the hospital for 64 days during which he lost almost 15kg.
Sadly, he lost his battle with stage four lung cancer on March 5th, 2023. Naturally inclined to spread a message of positivity, the former 5FM presenter opened a YouTube channel wherein he documented his cancer journey and desire to support people going through the same journey.
How Mark Pilgrim’s Death Affected Adrienne Watkins
Following the demise of her fiancé, Adrienne Watkins was so heartbroken. She said that she has never felt so lonely in her life despite being surrounded by her family and loved ones. As the pain gets worse with each passing day, the consultant shared her struggles to cope in the absence of her partner with YouMagazine. She wished more than anything that he would come home to her.
At the memorial service of the celebrated broadcaster held at the Johannesburg Country Club on March 10th, 2023, Adrienne Watkins paid farewell tribute to her partner. She said that the last three years of her life had been the best of her existence. She also recounted how Pilgrim dedicated the song, ‘You Had Me from Hello’ by K Chesney to her when they first met.
And also how she knew from the beginning that the love she shared with Mark Pilgrim was the kind of love she had been waiting for. Adrienne was grateful for the time they spent together, which she referred to as ‘forever’. She also added that she would be eternally grateful for the incredible memories he left her with, especially the privilege and honor to walk the last chapter of his life with him and to be loved by him.
She ended her tribute by saying that Mark Pilgram had been the greatest soundtrack to her life.
What to Know About Mark Pilgrim’s Ex-fianceé, Adrienne Watkins
Adrienne Watkins is a senior client partner at Korn Ferry, a management consulting company. She forms part of the organization’s regional Africa leadership team and Global CEO Succession Practice. At Korn Ferry, she leads the CEO, Board, and Executive Search Practice across sub-Saharan Africa. She has been with the organization for more than seven years and has achieved a career of over 20 years in Executive Search.
Her broad experience has seen her advise and serve listed and private clients, as well as multinational clients across diverse sectors including technology, financial services, consumer, industrial, and life sciences. Adrienne Watkins previously worked as a director at a boutique Executive Search and Leadership Advisory firm in SA before joining Korn Ferry.
She has a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Stellenbosch. She is also a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society which recognizes academic excellence.