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Hospital hosts wedding so mom can attend

MELROSE PARK, Ill., March 2 (UPI) -- Destination weddings are often held at scenic spots but a Chicago-area hospital was the destination for a bride whose mother has cancer, hospital officials say.

Amy Wallenberg chose the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of the Loyola University Health System, for her wedding so her mother, Patricia Wallenberg, terminally ill with cancer, could attend.

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"Like all daughters, I want my mother to see me get married," the bride, who lives in Texas, says in a statement. "And even though it is at Gottlieb hospital, I got married surrounded by the people who are most important to me, with my mother at my side."

The formal wedding had more than 30 people attend from areas including Texas, Nevada and Ohio. The traditional ceremony included tuxedoes, a long white dress, music, flowers, a wedding cake and even a champagne toast, Stasia Thompson, spokeswoman for the hospital, says.

"We are a very closely knit family," Ken Wallenberg, the father of the bride, says. "Pat was treated for breast cancer in 1993, and for 18 years was fine and in December, she couldn't get out of bed one morning and the doctor discovered the cancer had returned."

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Dr. David Rosi, an oncologist, says that in his 33 years of practice, this is the first wedding of its kind.

"Pat awoke with a smile on her face the morning of the wedding and is doing great," Rosi says.

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