• newswise-fullscreen Hospital Holds Wedding For Cancer Patient Family

    Cancer patient and mother-of-the-bride Patricia Wallenberg, seated, saw her eldest daughter, Amy, get married thanks to a full, formal wedding ceremony and reception held at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of Loyola University Health System, in Melrose Park, Illinois.

Cancer Doesn’t Thwart Patient from Mother-of-the-Bride Honor

Newswise — MELROSE PARK, IL - “Destination weddings” rarely include hospitals but they will for Patricia Wallenberg, terminally ill with cancer, and the wedding party of her daughter, Amy. The July formal wedding was moved to March 1 at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park and more than 30 relatives are coming from Texas, Las Vegas, Ohio and more for the traditional ceremony that includes tuxedoes, a long white dress, music, flowers, cake and even a champagne toast.

Patricia Wallenberg, 64, will not let cancer deny her the joy of seeing her eldest daughter Amy, 33, get married. “We are a very closely knit family and nobody messes with the A-team, not even cancer,” said husband, Ken, 64, a retired Elmwood Park plumber, referring to their four children who all have names beginning with “A.”

“Pat was treated for breast cancer in 1993, and for 18 years was fine,” Wallenberg said. “In December, she couldn’t get out of bed one morning and the doctor discovered the cancer had returned.”

In consultation with Dr. David Rosi, oncologist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of Loyola University Health System, the Wallenberg family took action. “Like all daughters, I want my mother to see me get married,” said daughter, Amy, who lives in Texas. “And even though it is at Gottlieb hospital, today I will get married surrounded by the people who are most important to me, with my mother at my side.”

Like any mother-of-the bride, Pat is having her make up and nails done and is giggling with her daughter and loved ones, readying for this evenings pomp and circumstance. A special hairpiece is being styled and her wheelchair is decorated. “In my 33 years of practice, this is the first wedding of its kind,” said Dr. Rosi. “Pat awoke with a smile on her face this morning and is doing great.”

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