There are a couple things most brides will agree on: They want to be surrounded by the people that matter most to them on their wedding day — and they want great pictures.

For 22-year-old Kierstynn Foster Rozema, that meant taking her wedding party on a field trip to a hospital.

“It was one of my favorite moments of the entire day, to walk into that place not being there for a treatment but to be there in a celebration kind of way,” Rozema tells PEOPLE.

The newlywed was 16 and a junior in high school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when she was diagnosed with leukemia.

“It was pretty surreal,” she says. “You don’t ever anticipate anything like that happening in your own life.”

Doctors initially missed the warning signs, so when her mom brought her back to the hospital on the eve of her diagnosis, doctors told Rozema’s family that her condition was dire.

“They told my mom that was the last possible day that she could have brought me in with a fighting chance,” she recalls. “Ninety-nine percent of my body was saturated with cancer cells.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, common leukemia signs and symptoms include fever or chills, fatigue, weakness, weight loss, …read more


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