Besides being an incredible actor with a number of awards under his belt and movies considered true classics, Jess Bridges is also a fighter and a loving father and husband.

Back in 2020, The Big Lebowski star was diagnosed with lymphoma and was forced to undergo chemo treatments. Sadly, things turned for the worse when he contracted COVID-19. Speaking of the experience he said that the virus made cancer ‘look like a piece of cake.’ 

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Unfortunately, his body was already weak from the cancer treatments he received and his immune system was compromised so he had a hard time fighting COVID-19, which unfortunately left him unable to stand on his feet.

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“I had no defenses. That’s what chemo does — it strips you of all your immune system. I had nothing to fight it,” said Bridges in an interview with PEOPLE earlier this year. “I was pretty close to dying. I was in surrender mode. I was ready to go. I was dancing with my mortality,” the actor recalled.

However, he truly had something to fight for. His youngest daughter, Hayley Roselouise Bridges, was to get married in August 2021 and the actor knew he needed to go to great lengths if he wanted to walk her down the isle.

“Who would say, ‘I’d love some cancer and give me a dose of COVID? But my ability to receive all the love and give it was just heightened,” he said of his fight and of the small steps he took every day.

Eventually, he started working with a personal trainer months prior to Hayley’s wedding. He wanted to be sure he would be able to be by her side on her special day.

Hayley married Justin Shane at a ceremony which took place in Kestrel Park in Santa Ynez, California, and it was her father who walked her down the isle and even danced at the reception.

In an interview with Brides, Hayley said that her dad ”touched on a trait of Justin’s that I also mentioned in my vows, which is that kids and dogs love him. I believe this to be an example of his wonderful energy.”

The father-daughter duo hit the dance floor and danced on Ain’t That Love by Ray Charles.

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