Terminally ill man walks daughter down aisle

KSN News (file)

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A terminally ill man given only months to live escorted his daughter down the aisle in Kansas after his family and friends scrambled to arrange the wedding ceremony.

Jeff Petty suffers from a cancer called renal cell carcinoma, The Hutchinson News reported (http://bit.ly/1uuRua5). The disease has spread to Petty’s bones and is too advanced for chemotherapy. On June 12, Petty’s doctor gave him between two and three months to live.

The wedding had initially been set for next July, but was pushed up after Petty’s family learned of his prognosis.

Petty walked his daughter down the aisle on Tuesday in South Hutchinson Christian Church.

The ceremony was planned in less than two weeks, with a dash to find a wedding dress for Janena Petty and attire for the bridesmaid, flower girl and ring bearer. Suits were rented for the groom and groomsman.

Janena Petty’s husband said he was fine with moving the wedding up. He said Jeff Petty often lectured him about marrying his daughter.

“I take his advice,” Christopher Banks said. “It’s a respect thing. He has wisdom to offer.”

Family as far away as Florida attended the celebration. One guest said he canceled an important meeting in Wichita to attend the wedding.

Jeff Petty made his living as a driver, from school buses to trash trucks.

According to his siblings, he spent his life helping others. Now the people he helped have returned the favor.

He said some people he hadn’t seen for more than 20 years put a new roof on his Wichita home. Another person gave him a $1,000 check.

“In tragedy you see the best in a lot of people,” he said. “Basically I am seeing what could have been a tragedy becoming one blessing after another blessing.”

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