3-year-old cancer survivor is flower girl at donor's wedding

3-year-old cancer survivor is flower girl at donor's wedding

There wasn't a dry eye in the room as the brave little cancer survivor walked down the aisle with the woman who saved her.

Guests at the wedding of Hayden Hatfield Ryals could not hold back tears when three-year-old cancer survivor Skye Savren-McCormick walked down the aisle as her flower girl.

Diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia just days before her first birthday, Skye desperately needed a bone marrow transplant in order to survive. Remarkably, more than 2,000 miles away was Hayden Hatfield who was registered with Be The Match and she was a perfect match to be her bone marrow donor.

3 year old cancer survivor

Screenshot taken from ABC

3 Year Old Cancer Survivor Was Diagnosed with Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukaemia

According to her parents, Skye was very sick and probably wouldn’t have made it to her final transplant if it wasn’t for Hayden.

Skye received her first bone marrow transplant, the very same year she was diagnosed. This was followed by a vital infusion of cells, with her final transplant in April 2017.

3 year old cancer survivor

Screenshot taken from ABC

But even after the transplant was over, Hayden remained in contact with the McCormicks through texts and Facebook messages.

Then Skye received a surprise from Hayden on her third birthday. Hayden asked if the toddler would like to be her flower girl at her wedding in June.

Their First Hug

3 year old cancer survivor

Picture credit: Mark Broadway Photography

After the 3 year old cancer survivor was cleared by her doctors, the whole family made the trip to Alabama for the wedding. At the rehearsals, both donor and survivor were finally reunited, and the two hugged each other for the very first time.

But if that wasn’t tear-jerking enough, just imagine the look on Skye’s mum’s face when she saw her daughter coming down the aisle. It has been a long and uphill battle to recovery for the 3 year old cancer survivor and her family.

There is nothing more rewarding than to see your child healthy and thriving after being so sick for such a long time. Truly, it was no ordinary wedding. A 3 year old cancer survivor was the flower girl for the woman who saved her life. It was all thanks to the gracious heart of a donor, but more importantly, it was also early detection.

3 year old cancer survivor

Picture credit: Mark Broadway Photography

Childhood Leukaemia

According to SingHealth, the most common type of cancer in children is leukaemia, which accounts for 35% of all childhood cancers.

Leukaemia usually starts in the bone marrow when the marrow overproduces immature white blood cells. A small amount of these immature white blood cells is normal. However, when they become the dominant cell, the child will be diagnosed with leukaemia.

Symptoms of leukaemia include: 

  • looking extremely pale
  • constant fatigue
  • bleeds or bruises easily
  • recurrent fevers

The American Cancer Society says that catching cancer early often allows for better treatment options. Still, it is usually the symptoms that prompt parents to bring children in for a more thorough check-up.

While it is true that these symptoms do not always point to cancer, it should still be a red flag. Do not hesitate to have your child checked by a doctor if you find these symptoms.

In Singapore there are about 90 to 100 new cases of childhood cancers detected every year. If your child is showing any of the symptoms above, bring him or her to the doctor immediately. A blood test should help the doctor to make a proper diagnosis and determine if a biopsy will be needed.


Source: ABC News, The American Cancer Society

Lead and Feature picture credit: Mark Broadway Photography

Read also: Newborn developed cancer in the womb?

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Written by

Rosanna Chio

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