Bride gives father-daughter dance to duo who won’t have their own

A Massachusetts bride gave her childhood friend and her family the gift of a lifetime at her wedding: a memory they would likely not otherwise have.

Jessica Otto’s dad, Peter Otto, has cancer for the fourth time. “He isn’t doing well,” Jessica Otto told ABC News, adding that he only has a month or two to live.

Michaela Cook-Yotts, who has known the Otto family since she was in second grade, said it was actually her now-wife, Nora Cook-Yotts, who had the idea to give Jessica and Peter their own father-daughter dance at their wedding. “When she met Mr. Otto, she fell in love with him,” Cook-Yotts said.

The couple presented the idea to Jessica Otto, who was “immediately down,” said Cook-Yotts.

“Deep down, I knew it wasn’t in the cards for us,” Jessica said. “It was everything to me, I don’t think they will ever fully know [what] it meant to me.”

Denyse Dias/BelleRey Photography
Jessica Otto and her sister with their dad, Peter Otto, at the wedding of their friend Michaela Cook-Yotts.

Her dad, Jessica Otto said, is her best friend. “He would give you the shirt off his back, the kindest person most selfless I’ve ever met,” she said. To know that he won’t be dancing with her, or her sister, who is currently engaged, at their weddings, is painful, she added.

Jessica Otto and her dad have many shared interests, including biking, she said. They both participate in the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC), an annual bike-a-thon that benefits Dana-Farber, where Peter Otto is being treated, and goes through 46 Massachusetts towns over two days.

Jessica Otto
Peter and Jessica Otto at the 2013 Pan-Mass Challenge.

The duo rode together in 2014 and 2015. This year, Jessica Otto will ride on Aug. 5 and 6 alone, as her dad is not well enough to join her. The father-daughter team have fundraised around their efforts in the past, hoping that the money might somehow benefit Peter Otto.

Now, with the event coming up and her father in deteriorating health, Jessica Otto knows the…

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