Most women who grew up close to any type of father figure will agree that being walked down the aisle by your dad is one of the most special parts of your wedding day. As a little girl dreaming about your wedding day, you never knew who the groom was going to be, but for the most part, you always assumed your dad would be right there by your side. But what happens if your dad is terminally ill and may not be able to make it to your wedding? You bring the wedding to him, like one bride did. Yes, Vieneese Stanton surprised her terminally ill father with a wedding ceremony at the hospital he was staying at, so he could have the chance to walk her down the aisle.
Her 64-year-old dad, Preston Rolan, is technically her stepfather, but he has raised her since she was only 3 years old, according to ABC News Radio. Unfortunately, a leukemia diagnosis sent Rolan's health into a steady decline, and since his diagnosis, he's been spending his time at San Francisco's UCSF Medical Center to receive treatment. Her wedding was originally scheduled for April 2018, but a recent conversation with her father's doctors about the state of his health urged 27-year-old Stanton, who is an admissions assistant at a private school, to push her wedding up five months to make it absolutely certain that he would be able to be part of it.
“In the beginning of October, his doctors … began to talk to me about his condition not get better,” she told ABC News Radio. “They said I needed to start talking to my dad about where he wants to die … and things like that. With that conversation being necessary, I talked to my fiancé and said, ‘We’ve got to make some changes.'”
In the above Love What Matters Facebook post describing the event, Stanton wrote, "This man has raised me since I was 3 years old; and now I get the chance to be there for him."
According to Stanton, while her dad thought she was going to Las Vegas to get married, Stanton and her now-husband were able to plan an entire surprise wedding at the hospital with the help of the nurses.
"We have both dreamed of him walking me down the aisle to my groom — and that moment finally happened," she wrote in the post. "This was truly, best day of my life!"
Now that the doctors are ready to move her father into hospice care, Stanton wanted her dad to know she's still not going anywhere. "'Dad, I love you more than you know, and I am going to be by your side for every step of this process,'" she wrote. Beyond that, Stanton said she knows that her dad "still has the will, the spunk, and the humor to be completely alive."
While having her father be a part of her wedding day was definitely a huge dream come true for both of them, there's still one more thing left for Rolan to keep fighting this leukemia for: the birth of Stanton's child, who's due to arrive in March, according to ABC News Radio.
“My dad is excited about that. Those are his two big motivations to fight this cancer,” Stanton said. “He’s always talking about the baby, or talking about the wedding.”
OK, my heart has officially turned completely into mush. If you have a dad or anyone in your life whom you love, give them a call and tell them that! You never know how much time you'll get to spend with the people you love.
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