Dying dad walks 11-year-old daughter down 'aisle' in heartbreaki - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Dying dad walks 11-year-old daughter down 'aisle' in heartbreaking ceremony

Posted:

Courtesy ABC News

It was a day she'll never forget.

An 11-year-old girl from California walked down the aisle with her dying dad in a tear-jerking ceremony that pronounced the pair "daddy and daughter."

"It was not easy to do, let me tell you, but I wouldn't change it for the world," said Jim Zetz, 62, who has stage-4 pancreatic cancer and is expected to live only a few more months.

"In twenty years, when she really gets married, she's going to be happy that happened," he said.

A photographer close to the Zetz family arranged the mock wedding as a surprise, to give Jim the chance to celebrate a milestone he'll likely miss as his cancer progresses.

Lindsay Villatoro of Love Song Photography secured donations for Jim's suit, his daughter Josie's white gown, a wedding cake, catering and flowers.

Jim's wife Grace Zetz, 54, called the ceremony a "beautiful" surprise.

"We didn't really know what was going to happen –- she put it all together in 72 hours," she said. "She came in with three truckloads of decorations for my backyard!"

It happened on March 14, Josie's 11th birthday.

She's old enough to grasp the seriousness of her dad's condition, her mom said.

"The therapists recommend we use big words and make her understand that none of this is her fault," Grace said. "This is life and death and Jim has gotten a lot sicker over the past few weeks. She knows she has to be patient and it hurts."

Jim was diagnosed with cancer last October. Doctors explained it was "fast-growing" and "too late to do anything," Grace said.

After suffering through three months of chemotherapy, Jim opted to stop treatment and enjoy the months he has left.

"It's been hard, his diagnosis was an aggressive one and things have gone by so quick," Grace Zetz said. "We set goals to do so something every week."

Jim and Grace are on a cruise to Hawaii this week, paid for by donations from their Murrieta, Calif., community.

"With the blessing of the hospice team, I have a suitcase full of drugs and we decided to take a little time to ourselves," Grace said.

Watch video on ABC News

  • Benefit Held for 6 Year old Boy who was Allegedly Killed by Mother's Boyfriend

    Benefit Held for 6 Year old Boy who was Allegedly Killed by Mother's Boyfriend

    There was an overwhelming show of support for the family of 6 year old Xadrian Martinez on Saturday. Just days after Xadrian tragically died, his family, friends and even complete strangers have come together to help raise money for funeral costs. Suzie Anguiano who stopped by to buy a barbeque plate said, "it's unfair that it happened to him. We want to help and support in any way that we can because we have kids of our own and if it was our kids we want the same turn out." A BBQ benefit w...More >>
    There was an overwhelming show of support for the family of 6 year old Xadrian Martinez on Saturday. Just days after Xadrian tragically died, his family, friends and even complete strangers have come together to help raise money for funeral costs. Suzie Anguiano who stopped by to buy a barbeque plate said, "it's unfair that it happened to him. We want to help and support in any way that we can because we have kids of our own and if it was our kids we want the same turn out." A BBQ benefit w...More >>
  • BBQ Benefit for 6-Year-Old Boy Killed

    BBQ Benefit for 6-Year-Old Boy Killed

    Saturday, August 30 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 22:00:16 GMT
    A local car club called 361 along with friends and family are holding a benefit for the 6-year-old boy that was killed earlier this week.According to police the boy's stepfather 27-year-old Albert Villarreal struck young Xadrian Martinez after he soiled his clothing reportedly, Villarreal then grabbed the boy by the neck until he was unconscious and then slammed him into a refrigerator to try to revive him. EMS crews had been called out after the boy reportedly began having seizures. They rus...More >>
    A local car club called 361 along with friends and family are holding a benefit for the 6-year-old boy that was killed earlier this week.According to police the boy's stepfather 27-year-old Albert Villarreal struck young Xadrian Martinez after he soiled his clothing reportedly, Villarreal then grabbed the boy by the neck until he was unconscious and then slammed him into a refrigerator to try to revive him. EMS crews had been called out after the boy reportedly began having seizures. They rus...More >>
  • Former Presidents Clinton and Bush to launch new initiative

    Former Presidents Clinton and Bush to launch new initiative

    Saturday, August 30 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 21:00:09 GMT
    (CNN) -- Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are going to join forces for a new initiative aimed at helping to give leaders better skills to solve problems.The presidents will appear together at an event in Washington on Sept. 8th to launch the Presidential Scholars Program.Organizers are billing this as a first of its kind partnership because not only will this involve the foundations run by Clinton and Bush but also will include the George Herbert Walker Bush and Lyndon Baines...More >>
    (CNN) -- Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are going to join forces for a new initiative aimed at helping to give leaders better skills to solve problems.The presidents will appear together at an event in Washington on Sept. 8th to launch the Presidential Scholars Program.Organizers are billing this as a first of its kind partnership because not only will this involve the foundations run by Clinton and Bush but also will include the George Herbert Walker Bush and Lyndon Baines...More >>