Life may seem horribly unjust when young children are diagnosed with something as terrible as cancer. A parent’s first instinct is to alleviate any distress their child may be experiencing.
Abby, then four years old, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and spent most of her youth fighting the disease. Despite this, she never lost her positive outlook on life or her desire to achieve her goals.
In addition, she had a close friend who visited her often in the clinic and provided constant encouragement and solace. Actually, Abby developed feelings for her nurse, Matt Hickling, and proposed to him.
And to show his appreciation, he planned an enormous shock.
She had to spend a lot of time in Albany Medical Center in New York when she was four years old. The doctors and nurses at the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders got Abby through her bout with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
The tiny child not only received excellent medical treatment, but she also formed exceptional bonds with the hospital personnel. Abby took a special shine on 29-year-old Matt Hickling, one of the nurses.
Abby confided in her mother one day that she planned to propose to Matt the next time she saw him by giving him a ring. After hearing about Abby’s intentions from her mother, the nurse decided to take action.
He quickly took action and orchestrated a fake wedding.
All the arrangements for the wedding took place in only one day. Matt posed for a photo in a tuxedo T-shirt and proposed to Abby. Inevitably, she agreed.
They cut into the wedding cake and exchanged candy rings.
Abby’s hospital room was filled with flowers, and her family was there to see her go. After Matt raised Abby for the traditional wedding picture, the couple drove off in a toy car with a “Just Married” sign and some tin cans tied to the roof.
Abby and her family, I pray that this will be a day you will always look back on and smile on! “You can bet I will! On the day they “married,” Matt penned a letter.
What a wonderful act of kindness from Matt and the rest of the medical personnel! Thanks to their efforts, Abby was temporarily distracted from her illness, needles, and chemotherapy treatments. Moreover, he left her with a lasting impression.
Nurse Lori Ciafardoni, who was instrumental in the planning, said to ABC in 2015, “I believe it’s uncommon that there is a feel-good tale that hits people so entirely with kindness.”
Abby has been cancer-free for the last six years, long after their “wedding.” Family and friends gave her the nickname “Amazing Abby” in recognition of her resilience in the face of sickness.
On the ‘Amazing Abby’ Facebook page, the family posted an update in 2018 to convey their joy:
Abby is making great progress!!!! This coming October, she will have been cancer-free and treatment-free for two years! The transition to university life has been exciting for her. She is also back to being an older sibling. She only needs a few more years to be declared healed. Finally, yeah! The answer is yes; she and Matt are still in contact. Last weekend, they actually ran into each other. Unfortunately, it was not the day they could celebrate their third wedding anniversary. Once again, I appreciate everyone’s concern, prayers, and requests for progress reports.