SCOTLAND, UNITED KINGDOM—Five year-old cancer patient Eileidh Paterson, a native of Forres, Scotland, “wed” her best friend on June 18, which was at the top of her “bucket list.”
In May 2014, Eileidh was diagnosed with High Risk Neuroblastoma, a cancer that develops in various nerve tissue, most commonly beginning in the adrenal glands. Since her diagnosis, metastatic tumors have been located in Eileidh’s lymph nodes, pancreas, bone marrow, and jaw.
Eileidh, who has spent approximately 60 percent of her life in and out of the hospital, received one year of intense frontline treatment and, afterward, was determined no evidence of disease (NED). She began clinical trials in the United States in the hopes of preventing a relapse, of which neuroblastoma holds a 60 to 80 percent risk.
The tumor in her jaw was discovered just under one year into her United States clinical procedure in May 2016, indicating a relapse. Eileidh began chemotherapy treatments, which got rid of the tumor, but did not prevent her second relapse in January 2017. At that time, additional tumors were located in her jaw and lymph nodes, and she had a disease in her left femur and the right side of her pelvis. Two blocks of unsuccessful chemotherapy led Eileidh to undergo radiotherapy, which is currently active.
After being told by Eileidh’s oncologist that she would not survive, Gail Paterson, Eileidh’s mother, told reporters that the family had crafted her daughter’s “bucket list” in February.
Things on Eileidh’s list included a visit to Disneyland Paris, to decorate her room the color pink, and a trip to the zoo. She has expressed a desire to play on a beach, travel via airplane, see real snow, swim with dolphins, and visit a water park.
At the top of her list, Eileidh expressed a desire to marry her best friend, six year-old Harrison Grier, whom, according to Eileidh’s mother, has “always wanted to marry her.” Harrison’s father, Billy Grier, told Metro.co.uk that the two have been “inseparable” since becoming friends and that his son had yet to attend a wedding.
A princess-and-superhero-themed ceremony was held for Eileidh and Harrison at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. Approximately 30 people were in attendance, all of whom followed the established theme and dressed as princesses and superheroes. Eileidh’s mother read aloud a personalized fairy tale, and the two exchanged St. Christopher necklaces in front of their friends and families, vowing to be friends forever.
“Anything to see her smile & hear her laugh is priceless to us as these are the memories we want. These are the memories we need,” Gail Paterson wrote on her daughter’s GoFundMe page.