Sometimes life is cruelly unfair—especially when young children are struck with something as awful as cancer. No parent wants to see their child suffer, and they’ll do everything in their power to make them feel good again.
Four-year-old Abby spent most of her childhood battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia – but she remained happy, full of life, and had big dreams for the future.
She also had a special, best friend who always supported and comforted her at the hospital. In fact, Abby grew so fond of her nurse Matt Hickling that she told him that she wanted to marry him.
And he responded by organizing a huge surprise…
This is Abby.
‘In 2015, she was four years old and spent a lot of time at Albany Medical Center in New York. Abby had acute lymphoblastic leukemia and was treated by medical experts at the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders.
Fortunately, she got the best medical care, but the little girl also created an extraordinary friendship with the staff at the hospital. One nurse, in particular, became a favorite of Abby: 29-year-old Matt Hickling.
One day, Abby told her mother that she wanted to marry Matt, and she wanted to put a ring on his finger the next time she saw him. Abby’s mom called Matt and told him about her daughter’s plans, and the nurse decided to take it one step further.
He sprang into action and arranged a surprise “wedding.”
In 24 hours, a wedding ceremony was organized. Matt dressed in a tuxedo T-shirt and asked Abby if she wanted to take him as her husband. And, of course, she said yes.
They exchanged candy rings and fed each other wedding cake.
The whole family was gathered and Abby’s hospital room was decorated with lovely bouquets and flower petals. Matt lifted Abby to take the classic wedding photo and after that, the newlyweds off in a toy car decked out with a “Just Married” sign and tin cans attached.
“Hopefully this is a day that Abby and her family will always remember and smile about when the times are tough! I know that I will!” Matt wrote on their “wedding” day.
What a fantastic gesture by Matt and the other hospital staff who helped! They helped Abby forget her disease, needles, and chemotherapy treatments for a while. And he also gave her a memory for life.
”I think it’s rare that there is a feel good story that touches people so purely with goodness,” nurse Lori Ciafardoni, who helped plan everything, told ABC in 2015.
Now, it’s been six years since the “wedding” and Abby is now cancer free. Her will to overcome cancer led her family and friends to call her “Amazing Abby.”
In 2018, the family wrote an update on the ‘Amazing Abby’ Facebook page and shared some happy news:
”Abby is doing fantastic!!!! She is still cancer free and will be celebrating 2 years off treatment this October! She is enjoying life in school and starting new adventures. She has also become a big sister again!! A few more years and she will be considered cured!!! Lastly, yes! Yes, she and Matt still keep in touch. Actually they saw each other this past weekend. They had plans to celebrate their 3rd Anniversary today but we were unable to do so. Thank you all again for your well wishes, prays and demands of updates.”
Watch Abby and Matt’s wedding here:
Were you also touched by Matt and his lovely surprise for Abby? Share this lovely story with your friends!