"Cancer really sucks but at the end, it's who is around you while you battle it," Abbi Swift tells PEOPLE
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when Abbi Ruicker married her high school sweetheart Swift Myers in an Oklahoma hospital on Sunday.
The 18-year-old newlyweds tied the knot at the Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis in Tulsa after two years of dating – and only two days after Swift proposed. Swift has been battling Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare type of cancerous tumor that forms in bone or soft tissue, for seven years.
“His entire family was in the hospital room and he said, ‘Will you marry me? Will you be my wife?’ ” Abbi tells PEOPLE. “At first I laughed because he’s always playing around, saying he wants to marry me.”
But when Swift asked if he could call her father to ask for permission, she knew her “best friend” wasn’t joking this time.
“My dad said that it would be an honor to have him as a son-in-law,” says Abbi.
“He’s the love of my life,” she says of her new husband.
Around 100 people crowded into the intensive care unit for the emotional ceremony.
Swift’s pediatric ICU nurse, Mandy Beam, helped coordinate the live-streamed wedding, that was attended by close friends, families and hospital staff.
“Swift and Abbi have taken a long journey together and they act like a couple that has been together for many years,” Beam tells PEOPLE. “They share a love that comes with challenges, but this was their fairy tale.”
She adds, “The wedding was intimate but simple and representative of who they are as a couple – kind and beautiful. I hope they treasure the wedding forever.”
Abbi was escorted down the aisle by her brother, Alex, as piano music drifted through the ICU.
“My favorite moment was seeing Swift, he was smiling from ear to ear,” she says. “I had to look away though, because everyone was crying and I didn’t want to cry!”
Swift’s future is uncertain, but Abbi says the wedding has completely changed him – and lifted his spirits.
“He’s doing better!” she says. “He’s been happier than I’ve ever seen him.”
The teen hopes that her love story will remind those battling cancer that “love is still possible.”
“The power of love – I hope people see that in Swift and I,” says Abbi. “Cancer really sucks, but at the end, it’s who is around you while you battle it. It’s negative from time to time, but it doesn’t define who you are or what relationship is.”