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Father With Terminal Cancer Walks Unmarried Daughters Down the Aisle

By Hanssie on October 11th 2013

evansfamily1While recovering from a double lung transplant, Fred Evans, 62, was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma and given a few months to live. Of his four children, three daughters and one son, two daughters – Gracie and Kate – were not yet married, but Fred wanted to make sure he fulfilled his fatherly duty to walk his girls down the aisle and give them his blessing. He didn’t know if he would get to have that chance before he succumbed to the cancer and so he planned a surprise ceremony so he’d have the opportunity.

Non profit organization, Fotolanthropy, who shares inspiring stories of people who have overcome adversity through photography and film, heard about Fred’s story and sent over wedding photographers, Matt and Julie Norine, to document the special ceremony.
Upon arriving at their church, Watermark Community in Dallas, Texas, Gracie and Kate, thinking they were there for a special event for their mom, was greeted by Fred, who was wearing a tuxedo. Sharing a private moment with each daughter, Fred explained that in case he wouldn’t be there on their wedding day, he wanted to carry out the tradition of walking his girls down the aisle and give them away. Close family members where present to witness the event. Afterwards, Fred presented his wife, Karla with a bouquet and asked her to renew their wedding vows.

Sadly, Fred Evans lost his battle with cancer on July 25th, 2013, but his legacy of love will continue to live on in his family and inspire those who hear his story.

[REWIND: The Light That Shines: Beauty in Tragedy Portrayed in Stunning Documentary]

Heartwarming stories such as this one, reminds me of the importance of our work as photographers. Beyond the technical aspects, the time consuming business side and the industry drama, our work is is bigger and meaningful for those we photograph. How are you using your time and talents for the benefit of others today?

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(Via @Fotolanthropy)

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. MAtt + Julie

    Thank y’all so much for sharing this story! So cool!

    Matt & Julie Norine

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  2. Nathan J Lester

    This is a beautiful story about a wonderful event, well done. I can appreciate the difficulty in writing it. I was asked to shoot a wedding in January this year for a family. The call came in on the Wednesday afternoon as they decided to have the wedding on the Saturday due to the fact the brides father was very ill and they didn’t think he would make it to the weekend. It was a scorching hot day. The wedding was in the family back yard and was very emotional as he walked her the short distance to the spot for the ceremony. He wasn’t well enough for photos but we stayed around for a few hours in case he was well enough. We were granted a window of 5mins to shoot the groom and brined with him. I captured one of the most emotional shots of my 20yr career with the groom and father of the bride shaking hands. It moved me to be part of the event and I was honoured to capture the images for them forever. Her father passed away a few weeks after the wedding. I was paid for the wedding despite arguing against it, the bridesmaid knew me and refused to allow a freebie, so we loaded the bride and groom with heaps of extras and placed a donation towards cancer research instead. We plan to send them a gift at the first anniversary as it was a significant event to be involved in and effected us (my business partner included)

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    • Hanssie

      What an awesome story Nathan! Such a good idea to donate the money to cancer research. Moments like these in our careers truly are priceless. What a gift you provided for the couple. XOXO

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