A beach on a tropical island, a romantic European city, a luxurious restaurant, a country retreat. These are just a few of the places most couples choose to spend their wedding celebrations. Most people seek to accentuate their happiness by immersing themselves in beautiful surroundings. Which is why it may surprise you that Michigan residents Kierstynn Foster Rozema, and her husband Daniel, chose to spend their special day in a hospital.
For Rozema and her husband this setting is downright heart-warming.
When Rozema was 16, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The week before her diagnosis, she had attended two proms.
“She’d just been having headaches and some pain in her shoulder, just really odd things going on and we ultimately scheduled a doctor’s appointment,” Bret Foster, Rozema’s father, said according to ABC News.
But there was nothing her doctor could do for her, so Rozema was referred to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. From that point on, Rozema was subject to two years of intense cancer treatments. She went from a normal carefree teen life to exposure to heavy chemotherapy.
As bad as it seemed, the doctors at the hospital were attentive to Rozema and her family’s emotional needs. She spent a lot of time at the hospital, and most places there held a special meaning for her and her family.
“We joke we’re the family [our patients] never wanted to be a part of, but we’re grateful to be there to help when needed,” said Dr. Fahner.
The therapy came to an end in 2013 with Rozema being declared cancer free during her freshman year at Hope College. That year she also met Daniel Rozema, her future-husband. The two kicked it off immediately, and got engaged the weekend before they graduated in 2016.
After such a harrowing experience, most people would probably never want to step foot in a hospital again. But Rozema doesn’t hold on to the bad memories.
“She contacted her medical team here and said the day just wouldn’t seem complete without a stop to the hospital where she had so many caregivers, and really extended family, who cared for her,” Dr. Fahner said.
It was like a family reunion. Everyone was happy to see the girl they saved now was embarking on the next chapter of her life. Dr. Fahner admitted that the reunion brought a lot of smiles and happy tears.