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article imageWedding bells rang this weekend for terminally ill 9-year-old

By Nikki Weingartner     Feb 24, 2009 in Health
With only a few weeks left of her life, 9-year-old Jayla Cooper fulfilled a dream as friends and family watched on in bittersweet delight.
Wedding bells rang this past Sunday for a rather uncommon bride and groom, 9-year-old Jayla and her now husband, 7-year-old Jose Griggs. But this union of children isn't due to some twisted religious rite.
Jayla cooper was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago and according to doctors, has come to the end of her path. Childhood leukemia, depending upon the type, has improved with treatment over the years but there is still a rate of recidivation either due to malignancies or later recurrences.
For two years, Jayla spent her home away from home at the Children's Medical Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Dallas, TX where she met her future husband and leukemia patient, Jose when he was 5. So after two years of sharing a bond that most people will never understand, the parents of both children gave Jayla her dying wish. (see video clip in the news link here)
Following their vows of "friendship" forever, Jayla explained in a local Dallas/Ft.Worth news article:
"I love him, and it was just really important to me. I had fun dancing with my dad and with him and my granny."
On the biggest day of her life, the little girl continued to show others how to live life to the fullest, smiling brightly as she walked beside her father, Jerrod Cooper, down the isle adorned in a lovely white gown. For the time, every person in the room seemed to have set aside any feeling other than joy for the couple, grasping tightly to the moments that remain.
As for the 7-year-old groom, his mother said in the article that "he's having a hard time dealing with this" because he is aware that she is dying and he doesn't want her to "go." Jose is recovering from his leukemia.
So in an effort to fulfill as much of her child's dreams as possible, Lisa Cooper continues to give her daughter all that she can so that her last days here on earth are more than hospital beds and distressed family members.
The happy couple spent their honey moon at Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor family waterpark in Grapevine, TX complete with waterslides, kiddie spa and arcade. A honeymooners paradise...for a couple of kids.
GRACE Grapevine is a non-profit in the local area where a fund has been set up in Jayla Cooper's name for anyone who would like to help. For more information, you can visit the website or call Grace Community Health Clinic at 817-305-4650
More about Year old, Married, Leukemia
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