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This Couple Shared Their Father-Daughter Dance With A Bridesmaid Whose Dad Has Cancer

I'm not crying. You're crying.

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At the Cook-Yotts wedding, there was a third, unexpected father-daughter dance announced: Jessica Otto and Jessica's father Peter, who has terminal cancer.

Denyse Dias/BelleRey Photography

Peter was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2001, central nervous system lymphoma in 2009, and a brain tumor in 2013. In April of last year, he relapsed for a fourth time.


The Massachusetts couple wanted to make sure that Jessica and her sister Megan had a chance to experience this milestone with their dad.

Denyse Dias/BelleRey Photography

"It was actually Nora's idea!" Jessica shared. "[The couple] brought it up to me before the wedding. Megan and I discussed it and we decided together that we wanted to accept the offer. I am really grateful."

Bride Michaela told BuzzFeed about what a close connection her family has with the Ottos, and how Pete and Nora had bonded as well.

Denyse Dias/BelleRey Photography

"Not only have Jess and I been friends since the second grade, Pete is my dad's best friend," Michaela explained. "It only made sense that he was up there dancing with Jess and Megan. There was just no way it wouldn't have happened. When Nora suggested it, I knew it needed to happen."

According to Jessica, Peter had no idea what the women had planned: "The first my dad heard of it was when the DJ called myself, Megan and our dad to the dance floor. He was shocked."

Jessica stressed that the gesture was a meaningful gift for her mom, Lisa, as well.

Denyse Dias/BelleRey Photography

"My mom is so grateful for what Nora and Michaela did for us," says Megan. Jessica adds: "Our mom is the glue that holds us all together. Without her absolutely none of this would be possible for our family to get through."

The Otto family is active in the Pan-Mass Challenge, a fundraising bike ride in which Peter and Jessica have participated three times, while Megan and mom Lisa volunteer yearly.

Jessica Otto

This year Jessica will ride alone as Peter's health is too unpredictable. She is trying to hit a $15,000 goal.