- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A California father who is dying from pancreatic cancer staged a wedding ceremony for his 11-year-old daughter so he would have a chance to walk her down the aisle.

With the help from friends and family, 62-year-old Jim Zetz was able to walk his little girl, Josie, down the aisle for her 11th birthday, the Press-Enterprisereported Monday.

“Down the road this will mean a lot to her,” Mr. Zetz said. “She will always remember it.”

Lindsey Villatoro, a photographer, helped coordinate the ceremony in the Zetzes’ backyard in less than just 72 hours.

“I have an 11-year-old daughter and knew Josie’s birthday was coming up,” she told the Press-Enterprise. “I also knew it would be the last birthday with her dad. If I was Josie, this would be the best gift anyone could give.”

After a walk down the aisle, Josie’s dad placed a promise ring on her finger and Pastor Gary Galbraith pronounced them “daddy and daughter.”

“Your dad may not get to see you get married, but he is here to walk you down the aisle today,” Mr. Galbraith said. “The daddy and daughter relationship is one of the most special relationships in life.”

“It was a beautiful ceremony,” longtime neighbor Jennifer Stout told the Press-Enterprise. “It’s sad to think of someone so young losing her dad, but at least she will have a memory of this event.”

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