Dad with ALS Walks Daughter Down Aisle - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Dad with ALS Walks Daughter Down Aisle

Posted: Updated:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Photo Courtesy TODAY Photo Courtesy TODAY
Photo Courtesy TODAY Photo Courtesy TODAY
 (TODAY) -- Augie Nieto, who has worked to inspire others with the disease, had his dream come true when he walked his youngest daughter down the aisle at her wedding Saturday.

(TODAY) --- Lindsay Nieto's father was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) when she was 15 years old, so she quietly made peace with the fact that he would never be able to walk her down the aisle at her wedding.

But ten years later, Augie Nieto, 56, was by his daughter's side, every step of the way, when she married Chris Williams, 28, in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Defying the average prognosis of two to five years of survival for those with ALS, on Saturday, Augie helped escort Lindsay up the grassy incline to the altar while harnessed to an aluminum scaffolding that helped keep him upright for the emotional ceremony.

"I kind of thought that I would've been looking at Chris when I was walking down the aisle with Augie, but I couldn't look at anything but my dad,'' Lindsay told TODAY.com. "I was just amazed he was able to get in his device and stand up. The sun was in his eyes, and I was just thinking that he's done so much to be here and worked so hard that I just started bawling.

"I'm just completely honored that he's done so much preparation to do that for me. It was just the most special thing for me. I had no way of preparing myself for that." 

Augie lost use of his arms and legs within the first three years of being diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease, and he can no longer speak after undergoing a tracheotomy three years ago. However, he communicates by typing on a special device using his feet, and he still has use of his facial muscles. He mouthed the words, "I love you, and I'm so proud of you" to Lindsay during Saturday's ceremony.

"It's just so great that it worked out because it's the last time my dad and I were going to walk together,'' she said. 

Augie was a successful fitness equipment mogul behind Lifecycle, Life Fitness and Octane Fitness before he was diagnosed. He switched gears and created Augie's Quest, which has raised nearly $40 million since 2006 to help find a cure for ALS. His story has been highlighted by Natalie Morales, who cited Augie as an inspiration.

The fact that he was able to walk with Lindsay down the aisle was just an added bonus, considering the chances seemed remote that he would even live long enough to witness her wedding.

"It was something that I mourned a long time ago,'' Lindsay said. "I was selfish and 15, and I was like, 'Who is going to be there with me when I need my dad?' Unless I got married when I was 18, I figured he wasn't going to be there.

"I always thought he would be there with me in spirit, but not only was he physically there, he walked me down the aisle. He could've walked down the aisle, rolled down the aisle or been carried on my back, but he was there, and that was the best part."

 Traditionally, the bride stands on the left side with the groom on the right, but Chris and Lindsay reversed positions to give Augie the best view.

"We set it up so that he could see my face when I said my vows to Chris,'' she said. "He was right behind Chris to see me when I said, 'I do.'''

She believes her father's positive outlook is what has kept him alive much longer than the average ALS patient.

"He's the type who's just so full of life,'' she said. "When he was first diagnosed, the way the disease is treated in the medical field is very pessimistic. He did a lot of reflection, and went through a depressive stage, but then he really found another way to frame it. He was like, 'I'm going to choose to be as positive as I can each day.'''


  • Latest NewsMore>>

  • Save of the Day: Hottest Online Labor Day Deals

    Save of the Day: Hottest Online Labor Day Deals

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:49 AM EDT2014-09-01 13:49:18 GMT
    Welcome to one absolutely awesome sale-filled Labor Day Weekend. As you probably know by now, I live and breathe bargains and in my quest to save you money, I have a can't miss coupon list below. This is the last huge shopping weekend before Black Friday, with many price drops that match what we'll see in November.We do not receive any financial compensation from any deal or for mentioning any company/product. The only purpose of this series is to save you money.Please keep in mind t...More >>
    Welcome to one absolutely awesome sale-filled Labor Day Weekend. As you probably know by now, I live and breathe bargains and in my quest to save you money, I have a can't miss coupon list below. This is the last huge shopping weekend before Black Friday, with many price drops that match what we'll see in November.We do not receive any financial compensation from any deal or for mentioning any company/product. The only purpose of this series is to save you money.Please keep in mind t...More >>
  • Fetus Found In Bathroom Of North Texas High School

    Fetus Found In Bathroom Of North Texas High School

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:19 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:19:05 GMT
    (WFAA) DALLAS -- Police are searching for a student who delivered a fetus in a bathroom at Woodrow Wilson High School."Obviously, this is very serious. It's very troubling," said DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander. "But we will work through this as a school district and a school community."The Dallas Independent School District said a maintenance worker found the fetus after being alerted by students. The second floor of the school, where the bathroom is located, was closed down around 2:30 p.m., s...More >>
    (WFAA) DALLAS -- Police are searching for a student who delivered a fetus in a bathroom at Woodrow Wilson High School."Obviously, this is very serious. It's very troubling," said DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander. "But we will work through this as a school district and a school community."The Dallas Independent School District said a maintenance worker found the fetus after being alerted by students. The second floor of the school, where the bathroom is located, was closed down around 2:30 p.m., s...More >>
  • Homeless Veteran Numbers Spike Locally, Despite National Numbers Dropping

    Homeless Veteran Numbers Spike Locally, Despite National Numbers Dropping

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:27 PM EDT2014-08-29 23:27:35 GMT
    (KCEN) – While the homeless veteran count is dropping nationwide, Killeen and Temple are seeing a spike in the number of homeless veterans – and it's not just individual veterans. “We're seeing more homeless families, and we've seen an increase in that over the last few months because of the downsizing of the military,” Paula Wood said. “It's very sad to look a family in the eye and say do you have a friend or family member you can stay with because it's going to take a month to get you re-ho...More >>
    (KCEN) – While the homeless veteran count is dropping nationwide, Killeen and Temple are seeing a spike in the number of homeless veterans – and it's not just individual veterans. “We're seeing more homeless families, and we've seen an increase in that over the last few months because of the downsizing of the military,” Paula Wood said. “It's very sad to look a family in the eye and say do you have a friend or family member you can stay with because it's going to take a month to get you re-ho...More >>
Click for Local Doppler Radar
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KCEN. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.