Terminally ill little girl gets her dream wedding with her best friend
5-year-old Eileidh's last, bittersweet wish was 'marrying' her best friend. These photos of her 'wedding' ceremony are heartbreaking.
Every parent wants a happily-ever-after for our kids — walking them down the aisle, seeing their eyes lit up in joy and love. This dream came true for little Eileidh and her parents, but under the most bittersweet circumstances.
When Eileidh Paterson was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at age 2, these simple joys seemed robbed from her. Battling neuroblastama, a cancer that most often occurs in infants, the toddler has spent most of her life in chemotherapy and surgery.
Finally, at age 5, doctors told her family that Eileidh was terminally ill — any treatment she had could prolong, but not save, her life. That’s when she and her mum decided the cancer had stolen enough joy from her tiny life.
“We decided to make a bucket list of things she would love to do and make as many memories as possible,” mum Gail Paterson told CBS News.
Top of that list? Marrying her best friend, 6-year-old Harrison Grier.
“Harrison has said for over a year that he was going to marry her,” Gail shared. “He even ‘borrowed’ one of his rings to give to her.”
The best friends got their wish in a bittersweet ceremony staged by the two families. Eileidh walked down the aisle in a sparkly crown and pink tulle skirt, brave and beautiful as a princess.
Among the guests at this superhero tot’s wedding were Disney characters.
Her mum had written the pair their very own fairytale, describing the heroic struggles of this little girl against her cancerous foe. “It took her hair but it couldn’t take her smile,” the mum read out.
“Harrison wants to marry Eileidh more than anything so that’s what they decided to do. If Eileidh and Harrison can be happy, smile and enjoy the little things then that’s what we should all do.”
The story had a powerful and poignant moral for all of us. “Make the most of every single day as no one knows what will happen the next. Enjoy life, enjoy each other, stand strong and more than anything, believe, hope and love. If anyone deserves a happily every after, then it is most definitely them.”
To seal their beautiful bond, Eileidh and Harrison were declared “best friends forever” and exchanged St Christopher necklaces.
Though the ravages of cancer may ultimately cut short little Eileidh’s happiness, it can never take away her happily-ever-after of one day. Young as she is, this wise little girl shows us that life isn’t about the duration we are here on earth — it’s about joy, hope, and time spent with our loved ones.
Our hearts are with this incredibly brave girl and the Paterson family.