A six-year-old Edmonton boy with a rare and potentially life-threatening illness got the opportunity Friday to do something not many young kids do: get married.
And not only did Jaxon Garnier get hitched, he tied the knot with Wonder Woman at a hotel in the north Edmonton community of Elmwood Park. According to his mother, Jaxon proposed to Wonder Woman at a show and shine last July.
“He counted out change from his piggy bank and went to the flower shop, picked out some beautiful mauve roses all by himself and also bought her a Batman ringpop,” she said in a Facebook post. “When Wonder Woman arrived at the show and shine, Jaxon proposed and of course Wonder Woman said yes!”
“We had the opportunity to do something today that otherwise my son wouldn’t have the opportunity to do,” Jaxon’s mother, Shanel Stromberg, said after the ceremony.
“He’s not going to live long enough to be an adult and get married and do that type of thing so today he got that opportunity. I can’t even express what that means to us.”
Jaxon was profiled by Global News in October 2015. At the time, Jaxon was only four years old but already weighed more than 80 pounds, about double the weight of an average boy his age. That’s because he lives with a rare condition, rapid-onset obesity with hypothalamic dysfunction, hypoventilation and autonomic dysregulation (ROHHAD).
The condition means Jaxon’s brain tells him he’s constantly hungry, so he’s always looking for food. At the time, there had been only about a dozen cases of ROHHAD diagnosed in Canada, five of them in Alberta’s capital.
There is currently no cure for ROHHAD and while the prognosis varies for people living with the condition, 25 per cent of children with the condition are reported to die of respiratory failure, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Jaxon’s mother says he now weighs about 100 pounds and has developed breathing problems. As a result, she asked Jaxon to give her a bucket list of things he really wanted to do.
“He’s been really struggling with his breathing lately… and the hospital’s not able to give him any more support,” she said. “The support he’s currently receiving for his breathing is all that they can give him.
“He created a list of what he wanted to do and marrying Wonder Woman was the very first thing on his list.”
Friday’s wedding was set up by the Sands Inn and Suites on Yellowhead Trail and Jaxon and his family got to take a limousine to the ceremony.
“(It’s) wonderful,” Stomberg said after listing all the local individuals and businesses who helped with the event. “I don’t even really have words for it. It’s absolutely wonderful what the community did for my son today.”
About 80 people watched Jaxon, who dressed up as Batman’s sidekick Robin a.k.a. The Boy Wonder, get hitched to Wonder Woman. Batman, Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk were among the guests.
A live video of the wedding was posted to Facebook and saw dozens of people post their congratulations to the newlyweds.
“This is just the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen!” one post read. “Congrats Jaxon and Wonder Woman!”
“Wishing you and Wonder Woman a lifetime of happiness,” read another. “Your day is so magical and a dream come true. Congratulations Jaxon and Wonder Woman!”
Stromberg said it’s pretty simple why her son wanted to marry Wonder Woman.
“He just loves her… He just said, ‘She’s very beautiful and strong.’”
Jaxon’s mother said her son has had the opportunity to do a number of other cool things since making his bucket list, including “driving” a plane and feeding a baby piglet.
To learn more about Jaxon and ROHHAD or to see how you can help, visit a Facebook page about him and his condition that’s run by his mother.