Terminally ill girl who '˜married' best friend dies of cancer
Little Eileidh Paterson and Harrison Grier, six, were declared “best friends forever” at a heartwarming ceremony on Sunday 18 June.
Brave Eileidh, had the debilitating childhood cancer neuroblastoma, made a bucket list after being told her condition was terminal and ranked marrying Harrison at the top.
Hundreds of well-wishers attended their fairytale ‘wedding’ at the AECC in Aberdeen -- with some guests travelling hundreds of miles to be there.
Footage of the ceremony was shared worldwide and seen by viewers in a long list of countries including China, Australia and America.
A fundraising page to complete other tasks on her bucket list had only recently smashed through the original £10,000 target with more than £12,000 raised.
Her heartbroken mother Gail, 41, wrote on the fundraising Facebook page Eileidh’s Journey on Saturday night that the youngster had sadly lost her battle with cancer.
She said: “With a very heavy heart, I’m heartbroken to tell you all that Eileidh gained her Angel wings at 11.45am on Saturday 1st July.
“Unfortunately it was discovered on Thursday, after an ultrasound scan, that Eileidhs liver was enlarged & full of neuroblastoma.
“This was the most aggressive she has ever had as it grew extremely rapidly. She took her last breath surrounded by her family & cuddled up with blankie.
“She won the hearts of everyone who met her and will be sorely missed.”
At the wedding ceremony, close friends and family gathered in a meeting room at the as the children, both from Forres, Moray, held hands and exchanged necklaces.
A lone piper got the event under way and was followed to a makeshift altar by a procession of costumed superheroes and princesses.
Eileidh was walked into the room by her older brother, Callum, to ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ from Disney film Pinocchio.
And after they were officially declared “best friends forever”, Eileidh and Harrison entered the auditorium where they celebrated with candy floss.
The adorable pair later took to the dance floor and started the party off with their first dance, which was to Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’.
The hall filled with pop music and Disney anthems for the rest of the afternoon, as guests toasted the happy couple.
The proud mum raised more than £120,000 to send Eileidh to America for treatment in 2015, and has since campaigned to raise awareness of the realities of childhood cancer.
Through her Eileidh’s Journey Facebook page, Gail aims to make people more aware of the symptoms of the illness.
There were several items that they were unfortunately unable to tick off the bucket list in time.
These included going to school, being a zookeeper for a day, visiting a water park, going to Disneyland, meeting Norman Reedus who plays Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead.
She also wanted to play on the beach, get a bedroom makeover, go on a short break, see the Blackpool Illuminations and go on the London Eye.
A meet and greet visit with popstars Little Mix was arranged earlier this week but she was too sick to attend.
Visit https://www.gofundme.com/eileidhsjourney to donate.