Terminally ill Father and a Mini “Daddy and Daughter” Wedding

Jim Zetz, 62 of Pennsylvania, has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Jim and his wife, Grace, were referred to a photographer, Lindsey Villatoro, to take a final family portrait.

The family realized their daughter, Josie, 11, was missing the magical moment and decided they needed to do something special for her upcoming birthday. Villatoro then came up with a pretty awesome idea.

Jim Zetz

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, 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 14, 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 day,

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

(Photo/story via MyFoxPhilly.com via Daily Saint)


  1. I saw this and I totally cried! As a woman who lost her father before she got married, it made my heart smile for that little girl! Such kindness can not be contained! 🙂


  2. Oh my goodness this is amazing! (and another reason why I always have tissue nearby for my visits to your heart-string-pulling place here). With so much appreciation for all the glorious examples of kindness that you discover and share. Keep it up! Love it all. xo Hugs of gratitude, Gina


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