This 3-Year-Old Bone Marrow Recipient Got To Be A Flower Girl At Her Donor's Wedding

"Awe, wonderment, and sweetness."

When it came time for bride Hayden Hatfield Ryals to decide on her wedding party, she had one special person in mind: 3-year-old cancer survivor Skye Savren-McCormick.


Prior to the wedding, the two had never met face-to-face, but shared a powerful connection. 

Skye was diagnosed with myelomonocytic leukemia in March 2016, just before her first birthday. According to, myelomonocytic leukemia "is a type of cancer that starts in blood-forming cells of the bone marrow and invades the blood" and is something that normally occurs in older adults. In juvenile cases, it is commonly diagnosed in kids under the age of 4.

Skye's mom, Talia Savren-McCormick, told People doctors gave the little girl only a 10 percent chance of survival.

Skye received a bone marrow transplant from Hayden months after her diagnosis. After her treatment, Hayden and her now-husband, Adrian Ryals, reached out to Skye's family via Be the Match, the organization Hayden used to find a donor match. 

The families started exchanging texts and Facebook messages. Then, for Skye's third birthday, she received a gift which contained an invitation asking the toddler to be the flower girl at the Ryals' upcoming wedding.

Skye got the approval from her doctors, so the Savren-McCormick family was able to make the journey from their home in Ventura, Calif. to the wedding in Hartford, Ala.

It marked the first time Skye would meet her bone marrow donor. When Hayden saw Skye, she told ABC's World News Tonight, "I walked up and I just dropped to my knees and all I could do was smile."

When it came time to the ceremony, the emotion was high. Jeannie Broadway of Mark Broadway Photography explained to A Plus via email that everyone knew the story of Skye and the bone marrow donation.

"As with any wedding, you'll see an array of moods, but when Skye was around, it was one of awe, wonderment and sweetness," Broadway said.

"When Skye walked down the aisle, everyone was in tears," she explained. "When she turned around and looked right at Mark's camera, it was pure gold."

"We hoped to capture a connection between the two, even though they had just met two days before the wedding, and I believe we did. It was amazing to see them together, like a big sister-little sister relationship."

The photographer was also inspired by Hayden altruism, "Knowing the process of bone marrow extraction, Hayden is very selfless," she explained. "When she told us the story, just a week before the wedding, she was very laid back with the whole process. She said, 'It's no big deal, they put you to sleep and you don't feel a thing.'"

As for Skye, she enjoyed the experience of getting to be flower girl. "She was really excited to do it. I put her on the ground and she took one step and then took a giant handful of flowers and tossed them on the ground," Skye's mom told People, "It was very heartwarming. We're so grateful to Hayden, she saved Skye's life. She was really cute."

It appears that this is just the start of their relationship. The two have a special bond, and the families plan to remain in contact.

(H/T: Scary Mommy)


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