A leukemia survivor who has endured extensive chemotherapy, survived a coma and is blind in one eye, overcame another obstacle to give his daughter a wedding that she’ll never forget.

Ralph Duquette and his daughter, Heather, previously agreed he didn’t have the strength to walk her down the aisle at her wedding. However, on Oct. 10 at St. Joseph’s by the Sea in Old Orchard Beach, he was helped out of his wheelchair and did just that — in front of 75 friends and relatives.

Duquette, of Old Orchard Beach, worked with physical therapists over the summer to gain the strength to walk his daughter down the aisle, according to WCSH-TV.

Portland DJ Marc Beatham said he didn’t know about the father’s surprise until he approached him about where to place a wireless lapel mic for the ceremony, which Ralph Duquette was to perform.

“Dad says, I have a surprise no one knows about … here’s what I want you to do: I know my daughter selected a song for her to walk down the aisle to; I want you to play a traditional “Here Comes the Bride,” song, let my daughter take a few steps and then stop the song and tell her ‘oops, I’m sorry that’s the wrong song’ and to play the song she had selected. I will have someone help me out of my chair and walk her down the aisle.”

Not only was Ralph Duquette able to give his daughter away and perform the marriage ceremony, he also danced the traditional father-daughter dance with her.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd including myself,” said Beatham. That was the best feel good moment I’ve ever experienced at a wedding.”

Social media editor Susan Axelrod contributed to this story.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.