Surprise 'wedding' lets dying father walk daughter down aisle - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

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Surprise 'wedding' lets dying father walk daughter down aisle

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(© Lindsey Villatoro at Lovesongphotography.com) (© Lindsey Villatoro at Lovesongphotography.com)
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MURRIETA, Calif. -

A noble photographer refused to let a father's pancreatic cancer prevent him from walking his youngest daughter down the aisle.

Jim Zetz, 62, is diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. He knows he does not have much time left so he is determined to make every moment count.

Jim and his wife, Grace, were referred to a photographer, Lindsey Villatoro, to take a final family portrait.

The family realized their daughter, Josie, was missing the magical moment and decided they needed to do something special for her upcoming birthday.

Villatoro then came up with a brilliant idea that will stay with the 11 year old girl forever.

The photographer suggested a mini ‘daddy and daughter' wedding so her father could walk Josie down the aisle.

Grace immediately agreed but kept the event a secret to surprise Josie and Jim.

"She (Grace) mentioned (Josie) was so emotional about her dad not being there for memories down the line, so I figured we would make some now," wrote Villatoro.

Villatoro continues, "In 72 hours I managed to make one little girl's wish to have her daddy attend her wedding come true."

She then contacted all of her wedding vendors from hairstylists, caters, to a pastor, all to create the special day.  

"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 Josie's birthday, March 14th, Grace told Jim and Josie about the wedding. They were overwhelmed with emotions and gratitude.

"Your dad may not get to see you get married, but he is here to walk you down the aisle today," said, the pastor, Gary Galbraith.

 Jim walked his daughter down the aisle in her wedding dress and Pastor Galbraith then pronounced them daddy and daughter.

After the wedding, the two returned to a reception with family and friends to celebrate the momentous day,

"Down the road, this will mean a lot to her," Jim Zetz told the Press-Enterprise. "She will always remember it."

Villatoro said that it was an "an honor" to surprise the Zetzes.

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(Photos © Lindsey Villatoro at Lovesongphotography.com)

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