After learning he had just months to live, Fred wanted to surprise two of his daughters and wife with a special gift. An inspiring story of a Father’s love to his family.
Photography by Fotocrew Members: Matt and Julie Norine
“When Fotolanthropy came to us with this story, we knew it would be perfect for us. As wedding photographers, weddings and marriage are close to our hearts. We are also members of Watermark Community church, and we thought we would be serving a family in our church body this Friday evening, but little did we know that the Evan’s family did us an abundant service by allowing us to be with them to witness what they had planned this day.
Fred Evan’s was recovering from a double lung transplant when doctors discovered metastatic melanoma. Because of the medications he was taking to keep his body from rejecting his new lugs, Fred is unable to endure much chemotherapy to treat the cancer. Upon this discovery, Fred was given just months to live. Fred and wife Karla are two people who just radiate love for life. They always enjoy doing fun things, such as tailgating at a jimmy buffet concert, scuba diving and underwater photography in Cozumel and attending church on Sundays. When most people would be devastated by this prognosis, Fred and Karla continued to live and enjoy life like they always had, never stopping to take a moment for granted.
Fred has four children, three daughters, Martha, Gracie and Kate and one son named Daniel. Two of the daughters, Gracie and Kate are not married. As a daddy, Fred wants to make sure he got the opportunity to walk his other two daughters down the aisle and give them away. Their oldest daughter Martha helped her mom and dad plan a special ceremony to do just that. They told the girls Fred had something special planned for their mom, and gave them each a different time to arrive at the chapel inside Watermark. When the girls arrived, their dad greeted them wearing a tuxedo. They each shared a special, quiet moment alone with their dad in the foyer of the chapel. He gave them each a bouquet and told them just in case he would not be there the day they get married, he wanted to walk them down the aisle and give them his blessing. The girls had no idea that Fred had this planned, and the look on their face when they started to realize what he was doing was priceless. He walked them down the aisle each to a special song, their immediate family watching. When they reached the alter, Fred gave them each away, and the family circled around them to pray over their future marriages.
After Fred walked Gracie and Kate down the aisle, Fred announced he had one more bride. Karla was so confused at first but she was totally surprised when Fred told her he wanted to renew their vows that day. She was presented with her own special bouquet and she and Fred walked down the aisle together. Roland, Karla’s brother officiated the simple ceremony, as they each promised to continue to love each other for the rest of their lives.
We were absolutely blown away by the joy, peace and trust this entire family has demonstrated during this time. To see the brave face Fred had as he greeted each daughter, knowing how hard it was going to be to say the words he did, and walk them down the aisle as he did. He and Karla’s love for each other is a perfect example of what all marriages should be. For anyone who gets married, we say those vows ” in sickness and in health, for better or for worse” never really thinking we will be there one day turning those vows into actions. We are sure Fred and Karla did not think the weight of those vows would come so early on in their lives. As a married couple we were abundantly blessed to see this father’s love for his family. Not only did he love his daughters and wife through these brave actions, but he loved his entire family by being an example of a brave man to them. We will never forget this day in the Watermark chapel. Evan’s family, thank you so much for allowing these two strangers to be a part of this day. We are blessed to know you.” – written by Fotocrew Member Julie Norine
Fred Evans received his wings on July, 25 2013.