On Thursday July 16, The Albany Medical Center’s Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders hosted its very first wedding!
Four year old Abby told her mother last week that she was looking forward to her next appointment at the hospital in Albany, New York. Abby has been receiving treatment at the AMC hospital for pre-B cell acute lymphobastic leukemia. While her mother attests that all of Abby’s nurses are incredible she says that there is one specific nurse who had stolen Abby’s heart, nurse Matt Hickling.
Abby has a Facebook page called Amazing Abby. The page chronicles Abby’s journey thus far and features many photos of her and her favourite nurse. Abby’s mother made a post on the page about Hickling which read:
“They have always had a great connection since the beginning of her [diagnosis].”
Her treatment program may be tough, but she was excited to talk to her mother about getting married. Abby told her about her plans to get married last week and when asked who exactly she’d be marrying she proudly announced that her groom would be nurse Hickling!
Matt received a text that night and with a bit of warning about Abby’s intentions. He said it “took [him] by surprise” but he got straight to work. Over the next 24 hours he rallied the troops together to plan a mock wedding.
When the four year old Abby showed up at the hospital she was given her beautiful white dress to put on, a headband to sit in her hair, a pink and red bouquet (donated by Scott Wright of Enchanted Gardens) and was met by her ‘groom’ ready to say his vows.
She walked/ran down the ‘aisle’ adorned with pretty rose petals while hospital staff hummed the wedding march. To make it even more special, the wedding was officiated by Abby’s physician, Dr. Jennifer Pearce. Hickling and Abby exchanged their ring pop candy rings and after the ‘I do’s’ Hickling pushed Abby around the halls of the hospital in her ‘just married’ vehicle – complete with a sign and cans. After the joy ride they returned to their ceremony room and had their wedding cake ready for them.
Hickling wrote on his Facebook page that he hopes by helping make this day memorable it can be something Abby “and her family can always look back on and smile when days are tough”.
Abby refers to her wedding day as the “best day ever” and her mother reported on her Facebook page that they are both “in awe from today’s visit and smiling ear to ear”
The hospital even gave Abby a wedding gift. All the staff at the center signed a photo of Abby and Matt and had it framed for the special occasion.
Unfortunately Abby still has over a year of treatment left, but with this kind of care taken…there’s no doubt that she has a strong team behind her to help her through.
Inside Edition “Watch Four-Year-Old Cancer Patient ‘Marry’ Her Favorite Nurse” Youtube. 17 July 2015. Web. 19 July 2015.