Fred Evans: Heartbreaking moment father dying of cancer walks his two daughters down the aisle because he knows he won't get to do it on their wedding day
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 23:03 EST, 13 September 2013 | UPDATED: 23:19 EST, 13 September 2013
The one thing Fred Evans was determined to do before dying was walk his two daughters down the aisle.
Knowing that with a terminal cancer diagnosis he will not make it to his girls' weddings, the 62-year-old father of four decided to surprise them by planning a special ceremony where he was able to accompany Kate and Grace to the alter and give his blessings for their future nuptials.
The Evans family shared the inspiring story of their father's touching gesture with the crew from the charity organization Fotolanthropy, who brought in wedding photographers Matt and Julie Norine to capture free of charge the ceremony that took place in the Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas, this summer.
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Death sentence: Fred Evans, 62, was recovering from a double lung transplant earlier this year when he was diagnosed with terminal metastatic melanoma
Heart-rending moment: Evans was determined to walk his daughters Gracie (left) and Kate (right) down the aisle before his death, so he surprised the two women with a special ceremony in a Dallas church
Raw emotion: When Kate (pictured) and her sister entered Watermark Community Church in Dallas, they were greeted by their dad in a tuxedo and handed bouquets of flowers
Mr Evans, 62, from Hot Springs, Arkansas, was recovering from a double lung transplant earlier this year when he was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma.
Since the medications he had been taking to prevent his body from rejecting the lungs left his body too weak to endure chemotherapy, the married father of four was given just months to live.
Mr Evans and his wife, Karla, have three daughters and a son. Two of the girls, Gracie and Kate, are not married, and their father's greatest wish had always been to walk them down the aisle on their wedding day.
Fred Evans, a loving father with a tremendous zest for life, could not let his illness stop him from fulfilling his dream, so he teamed up with his wife and oldest daughter to organize a surprise for his two girls.
Fotostory: Evan's Family - A Father's Love from Fotolanthropy on Vimeo.
Solemn occasion: Fred told his daughters that just in case he would not be there they day they get married, he wanted to escort them down the aisle now and give them his blessing
A walk to remember: The father of four escorted his two emotional daughters to the altar, each to a different song, as Kate (left) and her sister wept
Private:The ceremony was attended by the immediate family, among them Mr Evans' wife, Karla, pictured in a blue dress
Daddy's little girls: At the altar, Mr Evans symbolically gave his two daughters away with his blessing for the future
Family bond: The Evanses gathered in a circle and prayed together for the two young women's future marriages
Gracie and Kate Evans arrived at the Watermark community Church at the appointed time after being told that their father had prepared something special for their mom.
As each girl entered the cavernous chapel, she was greeted by Mr Evans dressed in a tuxedo. The frail-looking, white-haired man handed Gracie and Kate bouquets of flowers before explaining the reason why he asked them to come.
Fred told his daughters that just in case he would not be there they day they get married, he wanted to escort them down the aisle now and give them his blessing.
The revelation came as a complete surprise to the two young women, who were left in tears at their dad's touching gesture.
Evans then walked Gracie and Kate to the altar each to a different song as their loved ones looked on from the audience, and then symbolically gave the girls away. Both women wiped away tears as they made their way to the front of the chapel alongside their beloved dad.
Another surprise: Mr Evans stunned his wife by suggesting that they renew their marriage vows
Lasting love: After presenting Karla with a bouquet, Mr Evans walked her down the aisle
Tears and smiles: The couple promised to love one another for the rest of their lives, and then sealed their vows with a kiss
The clan then gathered in a circle and prayed together for the two young women's future marriages.
But Mr Evans still had one more surprise in store: once the ceremony with his daughters was concluded, the 62-year-old husband turned to his unsuspecting wife and announced that he wanted to renew their marriage vows.
A stunned Karla Evans was presented with flowers, and she and her spouse took their own walk down the aisle.
Sad end: Shortly after the touching ceremony, Mr Evans passed away from cancer, surrounded by his family
Mrs Evans’ brother officiated the ceremony, which concluded with a tender kiss after the spouses promised to continue loving one another till death do them part.
Tragically, it happened all too soon: Mr Evans lost his battle with cancer on July 25, 2013.
The 62-yerar-old husband, father, grandfather and SCUBA diving enthusiasts was remembered by people close to him for his boundless zest for life and his love of family.
On the eve of his memorial service, which was held August 2, his daughter Gracie tellingly wrote on her Facebook page that her dad did want attendees to wear black.
‘He wants this to be a celebration, not a mourning,’ she said.
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