A seven-year-old girl who has beaten cancer twice had an emotional surprise when her bone marrow donor asked her to be a flower girl at his wedding.
Ryan Garippo, 26, from Chicago, Illinois, had secretly traveled across the U.S. to Nashville, Tennessee, to ask Arlie Wolfe for a helping hand on his big day.
Arlie is a two-time cancer survivor who was able to beat the disease thanks to a bone marrow donation from Ryan, who proved to be a perfect match.
Donors are initially kept anonymous, but on the day of her one-year biopsy to make sure she was cancer-free, Arlie’s mom, Lisa Wolfe, 32, received a call from Ryan, who said he wanted to meet.
It’s rare for recipients to get to meet their donors, but Ryan and Arlie met for the first time in Nashville, in July 2019, and have shared an incredible bond since.
Fast forward to January 2022, and Ryan let Arlie’s family know he wanted her to be a flower girl at his wedding to fiancee Elizabeth.
They planned the surprise at Anzio Blue, a coffee spot that Arlie’s family regularly visits.
After the initial shock of seeing Ryan and going in for a long-awaited hug, Arlie was presented with a box containing the flower girl request.
The moment was captured on video, and Lisa later shared it on her Instagram account, which she uses to showcase Allie’s journey.
She said: “Ryan wanted to surprise her for a visit and ask her to be the flower girl at their wedding.
“We are so excited to celebrate him and Elizabeth – they are amazing people and deserve to be celebrated.
“Arlie was shocked to see him! It took her a minute to recognize him as we were all in masks.
“But when they locked eyes, she embraced him and thought she might cry.
“I always feel weepy when I see them together
“I will be extra weepy to see her as a part of someone’s day that saved her life. We owe everything to him.
“I hope this video brings people hope if they are in the wait of a hard chapter of life – especially cancer.
“After the storm, we have found gratitude and forever thankfulness for everyday moments with Arlie. She’s a modern-day miracle.”
Story via T&T Creative Media