Jeff Bridges was determined to walk his daughter down the aisle after his cancer battle.
The 72-year-old actor – who has daughters Isabelle, 41, Jessica, 39 and Haley, 37, with wife Susan Geston – was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2020 and contracted COVID-19 shortly after but after receiving treatment enlisted the help of a trainer to make sure he could give his youngest away during her wedding to Justin Shane in 2021.
He said: “I had a CAT scan: I had felt, like, a bone in my stomach where a bone wasn’t supposed to be, and I thought I better get that checked out. They got a cocktail that worked, and oh man it worked fast. That thing just imploded. But COVID made the cancer look like nothing. It just kicked my a**. God, it brought so many different emotions and feelings,” he says. “Fear wasn’t a real strong one. It was mainly kind of the feeling of getting with the programme, you know. Here I am, I’m sick, I know I don’t want to die because one of the things that the illness brought to my attention is how much I love being alive. COVID exacerbated all these feelings of love for my wonderful family. The first goal was how long can I stand up. and my record was 45 seconds, that’s how long I could stand up. And then it was, how many steps can I take? Oh good. Now I’m going to walk down the hall – all this with oxygen, of course.”
The Academy Award-winning star went on to add that “one day” he was able to walk again and even got to dance with his daughter at her nuptials.
He told The Independent: “Finally, one day I said, ‘Maybe I can do it, you know.’ And it turns out I not only got to walk her down the aisle, but I got to do the wedding dance [to Ray Charles’s ‘Ain’t That Love’]. That was terrific!”