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Dori Monson

Dying man records father-daughter dance before it's too late

When Dr. James Wolf found out he was dying of pancreatic cancer and had only four months to live, his daughter, Rachel, decided she couldn't wait for her wedding to have her first dance with her dad.

So Rachel called him up and told him she was coming over. Even though the 25-year-old wasn't even engaged, she made him an invitation and asked him for her first dance in advance of the date.

"My greatest sadness of you not being here is that you won't get to walk me down the aisle, or have a special father-daughter dance. So I'm inviting you to my wedding," said Rachel.

At first James was confused. But then Rachel explained that she wanted to have her first dance at her wedding before she got married; she wanted to have her father-daughter dance while her father was still alive.

"At her wedding ceremony, long after her dad has passed away," explained Dori, "at the wedding reception when she normally would get on the dance floor with dad, they're going to have a video screen and they're going to show her dancing with her dad."

To make the day special, a bridal boutique donated a dress and a DJ brought in a sound system, while a local TV station recorded the event.

Dori was struck by the emotion of the event: he has three daughters and what he fears more than death is not being able to be there for them when it matters.

"What a great father-daughter relationship these two must have that she decided that that would be so important that she would plan this, that she would put together this video and she knows she'll be able to have a dance with dad at her wedding even if he's not there," said Dori.

Jillian Raftery, KIRO Radio Editor
Jillian Raftery is an afternoon editor at KIRO Radio. She loves the neighborly vibe of the Pacific Northwest and spends as much time as possible outdoors.
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