Dad with Terminal Cancer Fulfills Dream Of Walking His 7 Daughters Down the Aisle before Passing

A father battling cancer knew he would pass away shortly and wanted to fulfill one duty before then. He always dreamed of walking his seven daughters down the aisle—the girls did something amazing for him. 

When William “Willie” Shelton found out about his cancer diagnosis, he was devastated. There were still so many things the U.S. Army veteran wanted to do. He was suffering from Glioblastoma Multiform (GBM), and his time left was short. 

In 2017 doctors told him he only had a few weeks left with his family, and his wish of giving away his daughters at the alter seemed like an impossible task. However, the girls had a special surprise planned for him.


Daughter Emily Flinn was already married but had tied the knot in a courthouse. They told their father that he would have the honor of walking her down the aisle in a belated ceremony. The father was excited, but the surprise was not over yet.

Shelton thought he would see the rest of his girls as bridesmaids, but they had other plans. They all picked out wedding dresses, and the father got to experience a special moment with each of them as a “bride.”  

The special backyard ceremony was arranged with the help of Shelton’s LifeCare Hospice. Other people wanted to help, and various vendors such as David’s Bridal stepped in to assist so they could pull off the memorable day. 

Mother Cheryl shared that most of the arrangements were finalized within three days. Flinn stated: “He looked a little confused, and then it was just great to see everybody.” The day was a dream come true for Shelton.


His daughters were also emotional and were given a keepsake to hold onto. Inside a locket was a photo of each daughter with their father all dressed up for the wedding. This would make them feel his presence on their actual wedding days in the future. 

Daughter Lindsey was shocked by her father’s cancer diagnosis and expressed

“I always assumed that my dad would be there to walk me down the aisle and when the possibility was there that he wasn’t going to be able to — this was everything.” 


Shelton passed away two weeks after the special ceremony, and the family was grateful they had so many beautiful memories. Shelton was unable to walk the girls down the aisle due to his weak state. However, it was still amazing.

Simply seeing his daughters in their bridal gowns meant the world to him and the rest of the family. It was a touching moment that the daughters will remember for the rest of their lives.

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