It's not uncommon to shed a tear or two during the bride's dance with her husband or father. However, at Greta Perske's wedding on October 10th, guests were overcome with emotion when she dedicated a song to a man she had only met once before.
The leukemia survivor surprised all of her loved ones by honoring her bone marrow transplant donor, Danny Daniels. The pair danced to "Angels Among Us" by Alabama for their special moment; a perfect song because not only did he save her life but also the lives of countless others as a former member of the Air Force National Guard.
"To me, it was nothing short of a miracle,” Joe Perske, the father of the bride, tells The St. Cloud Times. “It was a day we didn’t know if it would happen.”
Hokanson was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia when she was 16 years old, and the only cure was a bone marrow transplant. Her parents and two sisters were tested but found to be incompatible, so she was put on the national waiting list, and Daniels was a perfect match. Six months later, the Minnesota teen and South Dakota donor underwent the life-saving procedure.
Two years after the transplant, Perske and Daniels finally met in person. "She said, 'Thank you. There's no way that I can ever repay you for this,'" Daniels tells ABC News. "My comment to her was, 'There's no repayment necessary. There are no thank you's necessary. I just want you to have as normal life as possible.'"
Perske, now 24 years old, is not only happily married to husband Tony Hokanson, but her experience also inspired her to become a nurse.
Please visit bethematch.org for more information on how you can help patients in need of transplants.
All photos courtesy of Phodot Photography