Terminally ill dad walks his 11-year-old daughter down the aisle in a heartfelt ‘mock wedding’

A dying dad fulfilled his wish of seeing his daughter at her “wedding” in a mock ceremony, all thanks to the efforts of a photographer who was made aware of the family’s tragic situation.

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It was while photographing Josie and her family that Lindsey Villatoro came to know of Josie’s 62-year-old father’s, Jim Zetz, condition.

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She was called to shoot the family’s last portrait together since Josie’s father was suffering from pancreatic cancer. The family knew that he would not be with them for much longer.

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Heartbroken by the knowledge, Villatoro decided that she must do something for the family and eventually came up with the idea of a “mock wedding.”

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“One day [you] wake up and realize you’re given the opportunity to change someone’s life for the better … You get an idea, don’t think twice and run with it,” wrote Villatoro on Vimeo.

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And in just a few days, Villatoro raised sufficient money from the community for the ceremony, to set up the aisle, and to arrange for the decorations and the cake.

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When the special day arrived, Josie was dressed in a beautiful, white wedding gown. She took the hands of her father, who walked her to the priest.

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“Your dad may not get to see you get married, but he is here to walk you down the aisle today,” pastor Gary Gilbraith told Josie, according to the Press-Enterprise, reports NBCNews.

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“The daddy-daughter relationship is one of the most special relationships in life,” he added.

They were pronounced “Daddy and Daughter.” Daddy even placed a ring on his daughter’s index finger. For Josie, it was a tender moment, and the intensity of the event brought her to tears, as she clutched her father.

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The family members and friends who were at the ceremony were also touched by the moment. And for Jim, it was the best way to play the father’s role before he moved on from this world.

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“It was not easy to do, let me tell you, but I wouldn’t change it for the world … In twenty years, when she really gets married, she’s going to be happy that happened,” Jim said, reports ABC News.

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Villatoro indeed managed to create a precious moment for this family, one that they will cherish for as long as they live.

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Watch the video here: