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A Dying Dad Creates a Special Moment With His Tween Daughter

April 8, 2014
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A Dying Dad Creates a Special Moment With His Tween Daughter
Terminally ill father walks his daughter down the aisle. YouTube
Jim Zetz is embracing the time he has left.

Before you read any further, you might want to grab a box of tissues.

Walking down the aisle at your wedding with your dad is a precious moment. And it’s one that 11-year-old Josie Zetz won’t be able to have — but she will always have a special memory of her dad Jim by her side.

Diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer, the 62-year-old California dad will likely fall victim to the disease before he’s able to watch his young daughter grow up and get married. But as the Huffington Post reports, after local photographer Lindsey Villatoro heard about the family’s heartbreaking story, she was inspired to organize an incredible surprise for Josie’s birthday: An opportunity for Jim to walk his daughter down the aisle knowing he wouldn’t be there on her big day.

MORE: How a Terminally Ill Man’s Plot to Steal Donuts Led to a Remarkable Day of Giving

Villatoro set up a fundraising page on her website and the community responded with everything needed to pull off the special day. Josie received a fancy dress from LA Fashion Week and dad Jim got a dapper suit. The event, held in the family’s backyard of their Murrieta, Calif., home, was set up with caterers, flowers and food — all complimentary. The father was even able to give his daughter a promise ring that he placed on her index finger after a pastor pronounced them “Daddy and Daughter.”

“Josie you will forever have a video of you and your dad walking you down the aisle to play at your wedding in years to come as if he was physically there,” Villatoro wrote in her video slideshow of the ceremony.

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