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Leukemia survivor stuns daughter on wedding day by walking her down aisle
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A fathers love can do many things, and one mans desire to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding helped him achieve something miraculous. - photo by Jessica Ivins
OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine A fathers love can do many things, and one mans desire to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding helped him achieve something miraculous.

Ralph Duquette has faced many battles in his life, but the one he wanted to win more than anything was the fight to use his legs again. A long struggle with leukemia meant tough chemotherapy treatments, a coma and losing sight in one eye, according to WCSH News.

Duquette also became confined to a wheelchair, and doctors told him not to expect to walk again. So when his daughter, Heather, began planning her wedding, the pair became resigned to the fact that he wouldnt be able to walk her down the aisle.

We had talked about it about a year ago but we realized in the condition he was in it just wasnt going to be possible, Heather Duquette told ABC News.

But the father of the bride had dreamed of giving his daughter away since the day she was born, and he decided he wasnt ready to give up that dream, no matter how many people told him he should.

When a father is presented with their daughter for the first time, they know how its gonna end, he told WCSH. That theyll have to give her away and Id have to walk her down the aisle one of these days, you know? Ive known that for all my life.

Duquette began working towards his goal from the time his daughter announced her engagement last year. He worked with nurses and physical therapists who came to his home and helped him strengthen his legs in preparation for the big walk, according to ABC.

But he wanted to keep the whole plan a surprise a special gift for his little girl on the biggest day of her life.

It was very difficult to stand and take small steps at a time, he said. I fell a few times. We did that two or three times a day.

When Heather Duquettes wedding day finally arrived last week, her father was ready. As she began her walk down the aisle, Ralph Duquette stunned his daughter and the 75 guests in attendance when he stood from his wheelchair, took Heathers arm and slowly walked her to her fianc.

My dad was helped out of the wheelchair and walked over to me and I just started crying, Heather Duquette told WCSH. I was scared and nervous and sad and happy all at the same time.

For the proud father, that short walk down the aisle was more than worth the struggle, work and pain involved.

When she grabbed my hand I sort of felt safe and walked down, he said. It was so amazing, she was so happy. It was something that every father dreams of.