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16-Year-olds tie the knot before terminal cancer takes groom’s life

Would you let your teenager marry their high school sweetheart if they had only a week to live?

How young is too young to get married? While most parents would probably lock up their children before allowing them to enter holy matrimony, this high school couple received nothing but support.

Amie Cresswell and Omar Al Shaikh might look like your average 16-year-olds, but they faced a tragic set of circumstances that forced them to move up future plans. The Metro reports Omar was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last year. A type of blood cancer, this form of leukemia can quickly spread throughout the body, making it fatal without treatment.

Omar was in remission when the two began dating. Over time, the cancer returned. “I’m absolutely heartbroken,” said Amie. “When he was told it had come back it was just a massive shock. I knew I wanted to stand by him through it all.”

Hopeful to find a donor, doctors searched for a match but experienced difficulty due to Omar’s mixed heritage. By the time one was available, he was too ill to undergo the procedure. With less than a week to live, Omar asked Amie’s mother for permission to marry her daughter.

The pair exchanged vows during a bedside ceremony in front of family and friends. “As he put the ring on my finger, he said he wished he had more time with me,” recalls Amie. “I wish we had too, but I’m so glad we had the chance to make this happy memory.”

Omar passed away three days later, holding his wife’s hand.

This story reminds me of the Nicholas Sparks novel A Walk to Remember. Perhaps you saw the movie that starred Mandy Moore and Shane West as a high school couple who deal with love and tragedy (Moore’s character died of leukemia).

I can only imagine what it must feel like to be the parent of a terminally ill child. There’s nothing you wouldn’t give to protect them, and yet you feel utterly helpless to remove their pain and suffering. It’s hard to say what I would do or how I would feel if one of my sons was in this situation. Marriage should certainly not be entered into lightly, but could I say no to a last request?

What would you do if your family was in this situation?

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