Cancer Won’t Keep Patient from Mother-of-the-Bride Honor
WHAT: “Destination weddings” rarely include hospitals, but there will be one tonight for Patricia Wallenberg, terminally ill with cancer, and the wedding party of her daughter Amy. The July formal wedding was moved to tonight at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park and more than 30 relatives are coming from Texas, Las Vegas and Ohio for the traditional ceremony that will include tuxedoes, a long white dress, music, flowers, cake and even a champagne toast.
WHEN: Tuesday, March 1, at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, 701 W. North Ave.
Melrose Park, IL 60160
Media contact: Stasia Thompson, (708) 417-5036.
WHO: Patricia Wallenberg, 64, will not let cancer deny her the joy of seeing her eldest daughter, Amy, 33, get married. “We are a very closely knit family and nobody messes with the A-team, not even cancer,” said her husband, Ken, 64, a retired Elmwood Park plumber, referring to their four children who all have names beginning with “A.”
“Pat was treated for breast cancer in 1993 and for 18 years was fine,” Ken said. “In December, she couldn’t get out of bed one morning and the doctor discovered the cancer had returned.”
In consultation with Dr. David Rosi, oncologist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, the Wallenberg family took action. “Like all daughters, I want my mother to see me get married,” said daughter, Amy, who lives in Texas. “And even though it is at Gottlieb hospital, today I will get married surrounded by the people who are most important to me, with my mother at my side.”
Like any mother-of-the-bride, Pat is having her makeup and nails done and is giggling with her daughter and loved ones, readying for this evening’s pomp and circumstance. A special hairpiece is being styled and her wheelchair is decorated. “In my 33 years of practice, this is the first wedding of its kind,” said Dr. Rosi. “Pat awoke with a smile on her face this morning and is doing great.”
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 569-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.