Brides may stress and obsess over the dress, decorations, and guest lists when they plan for their big day. One of the most special moments in a day already filled with activity and commotion, is the moment a father walks his daughter down the aisle.
Sadly, for women whose fathers’ have passed on, this momentous occasion is bittersweet. After all, a dad is the world for girls everywhere. As women grow up, they often judge and compare the character and heart of their future husbands with their dads.
Jeni Stepien lost her father Michael Stepien in 2006 when he was murdered in Swissvale, Pennsylvania. She knew she wanted nothing more than to have her dad with her walk down the aisle. Jeni felt if she could not have her father in person, she could at least have a part of him.
Michael Stepien was an organ donor. His heart went to Arthur Thomas who waited 16 years for a transplant. The two families exchanged letters, sent each other flowers, and gifts the last 10 years.
“Jeni wrote me a letter and she said ‘Dear Tom, I’m the daughter of the man who’s heart is inside of you and I’m gonna get married on August 6th. And one further thing if you’re willing, would you walk me down the aisle?’” says Arthur. Once the man got the ok from his own daughter, he flew from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.
Jeni cried when she touched Arthur’s heart. “It’s just like having my dad here and better because we get to share this story with people and other people see that organ donors do matter,” explains Jeni.
Watch the heartwarming moment Arthur walks Jenie down the aisle.