And it turns out I not only got to walk her down the aisle, but I got to do the wedding dance. That was terrific," the actor said.
Battling cancer can be a tough journey for a person. However, people like Jeff Bridges pave a rather, inspiring path for patients battling with cancer to resonate and look up to. The 72-year-old actor recently spoke with The Independent about the health issues he had to overcome before he could accompany his daughter, Hayley Roselouise Bridges, down the aisle during her wedding in August 2021. Bridges made contact with COVID-19 in January 2021 after receiving a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis in October 2020. Later that year, he said that his cancer had been put into remission. Before his daughter's wedding, "The first goal was how long can I stand up," he told The Independent.
The Oscar winner claimed that at the time, he could only stand for 45 seconds. Then, with the help of a trainer, he was able to take more steps and maintain his breathing while utilizing oxygen support. He told the magazine that working with a trainer every day only encouraged him to put in more effort. Bridges explained, "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. That was terrific." Hayley, his daughter, wed Justin Shane, her longtime boyfriend, in Kestrel Park in Santa Ynez, California. She informed Brides that Bridges emphasized in his opening remarks "a quality of Justin's that I also addressed in my vows, namely that kids and dogs love him," adding, "I believe this to be an example of his wonderful energy."
Bridges claims that the bleak combination of his illness and Covid "exacerbated all these feelings of love for my wonderful family," which includes his wife Sue, their three adult daughters, and several grandkids. He was insistent that he would accompany Hayley, his youngest daughter, down the aisle. Bridges revealed to PEOPLE in May 2022 that he spent nearly five months in the hospital during the worst of his health issues. "I had no defenses. That's what chemo does — it strips you of all your immune system. I had nothing to fight it," he said. "COVID made my cancer look like nothing." He said that he couldn't roll over in bed without calling the nurse to help him with oxygen. "I was pretty close to dying. The doctors kept telling me, 'Jeff, you've got to fight. You're not fighting.' I was in surrender mode. I was ready to go. I was dancing with my mortality," he said.
I want to thank you all for reaching out during this time, it feels good getting all the well wishes and love! I’ll be sharing more updates on https://t.co/tndalVJNn0 pic.twitter.com/0hGh7gs1Dp— Jeff Bridges (@TheJeffBridges) October 29, 2020
Fans may view a lovely video of Hayley and Bridges dancing during her wedding to Ray Charles' "Ain't That Love" by clicking on the dancing caricature on Bridges' website. In the video, a bearded Bridges is quick on his feet while dancing with Hayley in a number of spectacular maneuvers. After months of therapy, Bridges disclosed in his post that his cancer is now in "remission." But according to Bridges, his battle with cancer has been "a piece of cake" in comparison to his battle with COVID-19, which he caught in January before he could get vaccinated.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Jamie McCarthy