Most girls dream of growing up and marrying the person they love. But what happens when there’s no time to grow up? A little girl from North Carolina asked for a wedding before it was too late.
The idea of a ten-year-old girl getting married fills people with dread, but what if the occasion was a beautiful gesture for a child who won’t get to live her dreams in the future? That’s what happened to Emma Edwards.
While other kids in her situation would’ve asked for a trip to Disneyland or to meet a beloved celebrity, Emma wanted one thing: to marry her boyfriend. The problem is that they were both ten years old. Her parents, Alina and Aaron Edwards, faced a big problem.In April 2022, their young girl was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but they were hopeful. Unfortunately, a few months later, the doctors gave them the devastating news that Emma had no time left.
Therefore, the parents and the community joined forces to make little Emma’s dream wedding come true with her boyfriend, Daniel Marshall Christopher Williams Junior, also known as DJ.The event and Emma’s cause attracted so much attention that the local community adopted the name “Emma’s Army” and worked to fulfill her wishes.
Chris Carter, an announcer at the Bowman Gray Stadium, became the official organizer and appeared on several shows to invite people to participate. He said, “Emma’s like any other girl. She likes to play. She likes to be outside, and she loves people.”
According to the organizer, her treatment was so harsh. Sometimes, things would look up only to take the worst turns, exhausting the “precious girl.” But he also explained how much she was fighting and how determined she was to improve.
Finally, the Make-A-Wish Foundation stepped in to help Emma, her family, and the community with this dream wedding. Her mother explained, “Most kids want to go to Disneyland, but Emma wanted to get married, be a wife, and have three kids.”
Emma and Her School Sweetheart
This event wasn’t the first time Emma and DJ tried to get married. They had tried to have a wedding in school years earlier when they were only eight. They had chosen bridesmaids and groomsmen from their classmates.
The boys even brought clip-on ties for the wedding which would happen during recess. While everyone thought it was cute, their teacher didn’t allow it. When Alina and DJ’s mom discovered that story, they got together and planned for the fastest event possible.
“We threw it together in less than two days, everything ended up being donated. It was so precious, and it came together so well,” she explained.The event was recorded on video with special interviews from some attendees and, of course, the groom. DJ was asked what he thought when he first saw Emma. “I thought she was the most beautiful person I ever saw. Ever since I loved her,” he told the camera.
They’ve known each other since third grade, meaning two years. “It’s gonna be a very special night for all of us,” DJ said. His fondest memory of Emma was when she sent other kids running after him to ask him questions.
The boy said he knew he would marry Emma two months after that school year ended. “I was like, ‘I’m gonna marry that girl one day.’ Here we are today,” DJ added, finishing his interview.Emma’s mother couldn’t be more thankful for DJ. She announced their wedding on Facebook as well as the news that her girl had just a few days left. She couldn’t praise the little boy enough:
“DJ has been Emma’s “Boo bear” since 3rd grade, and let me tell you, seeing these babies together will melt your heart. DJ protects her and helps her, and makes her heart soar. She loves him. And I know he loves her too! He has stood beside her through all her ups and downs and kept her smiling the whole time. DJ will forever be family.”The Dreamlike Wedding
The wedding was on June 29, and Emma’s cousin was her maid of honor in charge of the ring. Emma arrived at the venue with her parents pushing her wheelchair. She was in a beautiful purple dress and smiled when her dad wheeled her down the aisle as she sat in her wheelchair.
Aaron stayed beside her throughout the ceremony while DJ proudly smiled next to them. The officiant was the most encouraging person for the job, calling her a beautiful bride and saying she makes the world better.
He thanked the young kids for “teaching us all” about love. One of Emma’s friends read a passage from the Bible during the ceremony, and finally, it came time to say, “I do.”They exchanged the rings, and DJ followed the officiant’s words, promising his love for Emma. Despite her weakness, Emma repeated the same vows to her groom. At last, DJ kissed the bride at the end, which brought a broad and bashful smile to his new bride.Emma had to be returned quickly to a bed to rest, but they took pictures, and both families looked happy with the event. DJ’s wide grin and cheerful demeanor made the day much better.
Aline was particularly proud of that day because Emma used to be a “social butterfly,” but cancer patients are secluded. The little girl even refused pain meds to avoid falling asleep at the event. And sadly, Emma died on July 11, 2023. Her obituary read:
“Emma Brooks Edwards entered heaven and into the loving arms of her Great-grandma Frannie Annie on July 11, 2023, surrounded by those that love her most. Emma was 10 years old and battled “The imposter”, Leukemia, for 16 mos. Emma, our little unicorn, was born April 22, 2013, to adoring parents and three older siblings, completing the Edwards family. She loved arts and crafts, practical jokes, her family and friends, Jesus, and her newlywed “husband,” DJ. Emma was a light to all who loved her and an inspiration to all she met. She was absolutely the best daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, aunt, “wife,” lol, and friend. Her legacy is one of strength, humor, and limitless love for all people.”Her parents and siblings, Michael, Aaron, and Hailee, will miss her terribly, but they’re all thankful that she fulfilled her wish, thanks to DJ.