Losing a child is an experience no human being should ever have to go through. Children are never supposed to die before you. That’s just not the way it is supposed to happen.
At only 5 years old, Eileidh Paterson of Forres, Scotland, found out that she is terminally ill after aggressively battling against high-risk neuroblastoma — a type of childhood cancer that affects nerve tissue — for three long years. In her short life, cancer has been found in her adrenal gland, pancreas, lymph nodes, bone marrow, and jaw.
Though Eileidh is still fighting hard and receiving radiotherapy, her family tells Babble that her oncologist stated she won’t survive long term because the tumors will continue to grow back again quicker and more aggressively than before.
On Eileidh’s GoFundMe page, her family says she “deserves to have the world and if we can give her a fraction of that, then we will.” They say she has spent the past three years in and out of hospitals and doctor’s offices, and has been given “countless toxic chemotherapies, scans, cannulas, hickman lines, surgeries, anaesthetics [sic], and blood tests.”
And so with her terminal diagnosis, this brave girl decided to make a bucket list — with one of the most important items being a dream wedding her family knew she’d never live long enough to have. During the adorable princess-and-superhero-themed ceremony, Eileidh and Harrison, her 6-year-old longtime best pal, exchanged special necklaces in front of loved ones and vowed “to be friends forever.”
The celebration was held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, where loved ones also dressed as superheroes and princesses. The wedding had around 30 attendees with almost 200 showing their support at Eileidh’s reception and dance party. Eileidh was walked down the aisle by her older brother, Callum, to the song, “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
Eileidh’s family wants her time left to be as meaningful as possible. “Now that her dream wedding is complete, Eileidh is looking forward to checking more items off her list, including swimming with dolphins, playing at a beach, seeing snow, getting a bedroom makeover and flying on a plane, to name a few,” they told Babble, adding that they want to create as many memories as possible to allow her “to enjoy as ‘normal’ a childhood as she can.”
It is estimated that over 15,000 children ages 0-19 will be diagnosed with cancer every year and close to 2000 will die of the disease just in the United States alone every year, according to the National Cancer Institute. It is a tragedy beyond words.
With the support of strangers and loved ones, Eileidh’s family has raised almost $10,000 on her GoFundMe page to help the rest of her bucket list dreams come true. If you are able, please consider donating to this courageous little girl.