The Incredible Sacrifices Jeff Bridges Took to Make Sure He Could Walk His Daughter Down the Aisle

Jeff Bridges hasn’t had it easy the past few years. He underwent chemotherapy after being diagnosed with lymphoma in 2020 and came down with COVID-19 during treatment, which only made matters worse. By 2021, his cancer was in remission and he was fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

Despite overcoming cancer and COVID-19, Bridges didn’t come out of treatment with his health at a 100%. In fact, he was having a hard time standing up for more than 45 seconds – which was concerning for a father who was supposed to walk his daughter down the aisle in several months. So, he used that time wisely.

The Incredible Sacrifices Jeff Bridges Took to Make Sure He Could Walk His Daughter Down the Aisle

Over the next few months, Bridges worked with a personal trainer every day to ensure he had the health and strength to walk his daughter down the aisle on what would be the most important day of her life. It wasn’t an easy path, but he had all the motivation in the world and wasn’t going to let anything stop him. 

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In August 2021, his youngest daughter – Hayley Roselouise Bridges – married the love of her life, Justin Shane, in Kestrel Park in Santa Ynez, California. And thanks to the work he did with his trainer, Jeff Bridges was there to walk her down the aisle – and he did so in style, wearing a blue-ish suit. 

His hard work more than paid off as he found himself doing the wedding dance at the reception – something he wasn’t sure he’d be able to do. It made the special moment even more special as he welcomed another person into the family. Bridges even took the mic for a touching welcome speech. 

According to the bride, Jeff Bridges “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,” she explained in an interview with Brides. The father-daughter duo ended up dancing to Ain’t That Love by Ray Charles.

Bridges married Susan Geston in 1977 and the couple has been together ever since. They had three children in the 1980s – Isabelle Annie (1981), Jessica Lily “Jessie” (1983), and Haley Roselouise (1985). Bridges and Geston are also grandparents, giving him, even more, to fight for each and every day. 

Jeff Bridges Opens Up About His Near-Death Experience With Cancer, COVID-19

While the cancer was difficult, Jeff Bridges insists that it was COVID-19 that made cancer ‘look like a piece of cake.’ In fact, it was COVID-19 that had him practically laying on his deathbed as doctors told him to keep fighting. He wanted to fight, but his body wasn’t allowing him to, largely due to cancer. 

“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,” he said, recounting the experience.

The Incredible Sacrifices Jeff Bridges Took to Make Sure He Could Walk His Daughter Down the Aisle
Everett Collection / Shutterstock

Instead of letting the disease and virus take control of his body, he focused on taking things one step at a time – no matter how small or large those steps were. “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 continued.

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Jeff Bridges has enjoyed an illustrious acting career that spans seven decades. He has won an Academy Award and two Golden Globe Awards in his career – he’s best known for his roles in Crazy Heart, The Big Lebowski, Starman, The Contender, True Grit, The Old Man, Tron, The Last Picture Show, and more.

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