Crew members wash the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan in an attempt to remove radiation deposits on March 23, 2011. Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier, in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Tohoku, had taken part in a rescue mission transporting supplies to evacuees and survivors following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. | AP
MURRIETA, Calif. — It was a day she’ll never forget.
An 11-year-old girl from California walked down the aisle with her dying dad in a tear-jerking ceremony that pronounced the pair “daddy and daughter,” ABC News reported.
“It was not easy to do, let me tell you, but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said Jim Zetz, 62, who has stage-4 pancreatic cancer and is expected to live only a few more months.
“In 20 years, when she really gets married, she’s going to be happy that happened,” he said.
A photographer close to the Zetz family arranged the mock wedding as a surprise, to give Jim the chance to celebrate a milestone he’ll likely miss as his cancer progresses.
Lindsay Villatoro of Love Song Photography secured donations for Jim’s suit, his daughter Josie’s white gown, a wedding cake, catering and flowers.
Jim’s wife Grace Zetz, 54, called the ceremony a “beautiful” surprise.
“We didn’t really know what was going to happen — she put it all together in 72 hours,” she said. “She came in with three truckloads of decorations for my backyard!”
It happened on March 14, Josie’s 11th birthday.
She’s old enough to grasp the seriousness of her dad’s condition, her mom said.
“The therapists recommend we use big words and make her understand that none of this is her fault,” Grace said. “This is life and death and Jim has gotten a lot sicker over the past few weeks. She knows she has to be patient and it hurts.”
Jim was diagnosed with cancer last October. Doctors explained it was “fast-growing” and “too late to do anything,” Grace said.
After suffering through three months of chemotherapy, Jim opted to stop treatment and enjoy the months he has left.
“It’s been hard, his diagnosis was an aggressive one and things have gone by so quick,” Grace Zetz said. “We set goals to do so something every week.”
Jim and Grace are on a cruise to Hawaii this week, paid for by donations from their Murrieta, Calif., community.
“With the blessing of the hospice team, I have a suitcase full of drugs and we decided to take a little time to ourselves,” Grace said.
“They did a scan and Morris called me and said, ‘You have to come see me.’ He was more shaken up than I was,” Menino told the newspaper in a candid interview.
Menino, 71, began to undergo chemotherapy in early March at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
“My attitude really is, we’ll get through it,” Menino told the Globe. “I have great doctors and supportive friends.”
The cancer is said to have no connection to Menino’s series of medical problems in his last years as mayor, his doctors said.
Dot Joyce, Menino’s spokeswoman, told NewsCenter 5 the former mayor is maintaining his regular work schedule at Boston University, calling him “one tough cookie.” She said Menino has events planned for Sunday.
“I’ve never known Tom Menino to back down from a fight, and I don’t expect him to start now,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him, Angela, their family and many friends.”
An Instagram account set up by a teenager to document his ailing grandmother’s last days has turned into a social feed that has inspired thousands, ABC News reported.
Zach Belden, 18, of Illinois, set up the Instagram account for his great-grandmother Betty Simpson, 80, after her cancer diagnosis as a way to celebrate her life and record the ongoing battle with the disease, ABC News reported.
Neither of them expected the account would lead to a following of more than 23,000 people, including some celebrities.
“He loves me so much, that’s why he did it,” Better Simpson told ABC News. “He doesn’t want to lose me and he;s just good to me. I didn’t even know he was doing this.”
She told ABC News that she has been very sick and nearly died twice six months ago. Since then, ABC News reported, Zach has been by her side when he’s not at school, documenting her everyday life in photos and video clips.
ABC News reported that one of the more popular video clips was Simpson dancing to Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy.”
“Everybody liked that,” Simpson told ABC News. “I got calls from California and all different places. They said they thought it was cute.”
Simpson said she is full of gratitude and love for her followers and told ABC News she feels like a celebrity.
“Wouldn’t you?” she asked.
Simpson said she isn’t letting the fame get to her head and wants to live out her days with her family and living every minute to the fullest.
For anyone interested in following Simpson, her Instagram account is @grandmabettey33.
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