Most brides have a support system standing by, who — in one way or another — helped them through the tough stuff and got them to their wedding day. But for Greta Hokanson of Minnesota, that couldn't be more true. After receiving a bone marrow donation years earlier, this bride invited the man who saved her life to share a special dance with her at her wedding — an event that probably wouldn't have even been possible without him.
When Hokanson was sixteen, she couldn't dream about the day she'd get married like many teenage girls. She was too busy fighting leukemia, an illness that almost took her life. Her best hope for survival was a bone marrow transplant, but with no matches in her family, doctors were forced to widen their search. "My two older sisters were immediately tested to see if they were a match and they weren't," Hokanson told ABC News. "My parents were also tested and they weren't either. The national registry was then searched and we learned there was a 44-year-old man from Arkansas who was a perfect match." That man turned out to be Danny Daniels, who ended up successfully donating his bone marrow to the sixteen-year-old, ultimately saving her life.
Fast forward years later to when Hokanson was planning her wedding — a day that she might not have ever seen without Daniels. She knew she just had to invite him! "My wedding day was one I wasn't going to make it for...and to have the person who saved my life be there was just unbelievable." Hokanson told Minnesota's KMSP.
But a simple invite just wasn't enough to let Daniels know how grateful she was for his gift. "I knew I wanted to somehow celebrate and honor what he did for me and when speaking with the DJ, he suggested a dance," the bride said. "I immediately fell in love with the idea." At the reception, Hokanson and Daniels shared a dance to "Angels Among Us" and a standing ovation from the rest of her guests. "I was very proud at the wedding, just like a father would be," Daniels later shared with BuzzFeed. "It felt like my own daughter getting married."