Most fairy tales happen when we’re older, perhaps once we’ve experienced enough life to realize what we want most out of it. But for 5 year old Eileidh Paterson, a terminally-ill cancer patient from Forres, Scotland, hers came early. At age 2, Eileidh was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer that forms in nerve tissues. According to the American Cancer Society, neuroblastoma affects about 6% of all children with cancer, and nearly 90% of cases are diagnosed by age 5.
The cancer has spread throughout her body, traveling to her adrenal gland, lymph nodes, pancreas, jaw and bone marrow. And when Eileidh’s oncologist told the family that the cancer was terminal, they decided not to waste any time.
For over three years, Eileidh has spent most of her life undergoing treatment after treatment in hospitals, so the girl’s family wants her to live out the rest of her days like any healthy child would: with endless possibility.
They had her make a bucket list of all the things she dreams of doing with her remaining time. On top of that list? A princess-superhero themed wedding where she marries her best friend, 6 year old Harrison Grier.
The ceremony was organized by Love Rara, a children’s entertainment service based in the UK, and was held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on June 18. Surrounded by close friends and family, the two exchanged St. Christopher necklaces and vowed to be “best friends forever.”
Harrison’s mother Stephanie told INSIDE edition that Eileidh and her son have always been close. “[They] just have this magical bond,” she explained. “Harrison has always said that he loves her and that he wanted to marry her.” Eileidh’s big brother Callum walked her down the hot pink aisle to Disney’s “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
Read during the ceremony was a story written by Eileidh’s mother Gail, based on the 5-year-old’s battle with neuroblastoma. In it, Gail calls the cancer an “evil beast.”
Almost 200 people showed up to the reception which, naturally, was a dance party. It featured a candy buffet, face painting, superhero cake and all of Eileidh’s favorite characters — even the Tooth Fairy.
Back in March, Gail started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for her daughter, and within three months, they’ve already received over $14,700 in donations. Thanks to the generous and ever-growing support, Eileidh has even been able to swim with mermaids. Next up, she wants to visit Disneyland, ride the London Eye and see real snow.
No child should have to slay any “evil beasts.” But by crossing off these bucket list dreams, Eileidh shows us that her life, cancer and all, is full of little fairy tales. You can follow Eileidh’s journey on Facebook.