A California man diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer won’t live to see his 11-year-old daughter get married. However, in March, thanks to a photographer with a vision, Jim Metz was able to walk his daughter down the aisle.
According to KTLA, photographer Lindsey Natzic Villatoro photographed 62-year-old Jim, his 11-year-old daughter Josie, and his wife Grace for one of their final portraits together before Villatoro had the wedding idea for Josie’s birthday.
“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,” Villatoro wrote in a description of a video slideshow she made from the event.
Grace agreed to the “mini-wedding” for Josie, not realizing the scale of Villatoro’s plans.
“She mentioned (Josie) was so emotional about her dad not being there for memories down the line, so I figured we would make some now,” Villatoro wrote.
Josie had her hair and makeup done, wore a long, lacy white dress, and carried a pink and white bouquet.
“Your dad may not get to see you get married, but he is here to walk you down the aisle today,” said Gary Galbraith, the pastor, according to the newspaper.
Josie walked down the aisle in the family backyard holding her father’s hand.
The video shows Jim putting a ring on her pointer finger and being pronounced “Daddy and daughter.”
“Down the road, this will mean a lot to her,” Jim Zetz said, according to the Press-Enterprise. “She will always remember it.”
Villatoro wrote that it was an “an honor” to surprise the Zetzes.
“Josie, you will forever have a video of you and your dad walking you down the aisle to play at your wedding in years to come, as if he was physically there,” she wrote.