The father-daughter dance at a wedding is always a must-see event. For fathers, it’s one of the last times they get to spend some one-on-one time with their little girl before he sends her off on her honeymoon. But one Massachusetts woman gave up her own father-daughter dance to give her best friend the dance she wouldn’t otherwise have had.
Jessica Otto’s dad, Peter Otto, is battling cancer for the fourth time. Unfortunately, doctors say he has just months to live.
The bride in this story, Michaela Cook-Yotts, has known the Otto family since second grade, so when Cook-Yott’s now-spouse made the suggestion that Michaela offer Jessica and Peter her father-daughter dance, Michaela thought it was a beautiful idea.
“He would give you the shirt off his back, the kindest person most selfless I’ve ever met,” Jessica said of her dad. She also told ABC News that knowing her father wouldn’t be at her wedding was devastating.
And given how close Jessica is with her father, her sadness is no surprise. The pair love biking together, and they recently participated in the Pan-Mass Challenge, a bike-a-thon that benefits Dana-Farber. This year, Jessica will have to make the trip herself because her father isn’t well enough.
Knowing that the money she is fundraising won’t be able to help her father makes her angry, but she hopes that the contributions will help other families. She will continue to ride, she said, to honor her father.
“As long as my body will let me ride, I’ll ride,” she said.
At the wedding, when Peter and Jessica’s names were called, he was taken aback.
“It was so selfless of them to take time at their wedding to give us this moment,” said Jessica
“My dad is a man of very few words; he doesn’t express how he feels, he doesn’t say it — but he shows it. He hugged us close to him,” Jessica Otto said
And for those who were there, the moment impacted more than just the Otto family.
“It was the best part of the wedding,” said Cook-Yotts. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”
h/t WCVB 5