Father with Parkinson’s Fulfills Dream to Dance with Daughter at Her Wedding (Exclusive) – PEOPLE

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A determined dad with Parkinson’s disease went the extra mile to make sure he didn’t miss one of life’s special moments.

Bobby Orr, 72, who also has spinal stenosis, worked overtime with a physical therapist to make it possible for him to walk his daughter down the aisle — and take a turn with her on the dance floor at her wedding.

Orr’s daughter, 38-year-old Holly Marrocco, tells PEOPLE that her dad has experienced progression of his Parkinson’s in the 10 years since his diagnosis, but continues to fight back against the neurodegenerative disorder by taking boxing classes and working out every morning. Despite struggles with pain and balance, Orr “never lets his disease take him down,” she says, describing her father as “a beast” with “a lot of strength and will.”

Holly Orr and her dad Bobby Orr.

Once Like A Spark Photography

After Marrocco got engaged in June 2022, she approached Orr about doing a father-daughter dance at her wedding. “He was receptive to the idea and up for the challenge, knowing it was going to be something he had to prepare for,” she recalls.

Prepare he did — and then some. The family reached out to the Fox Rehabilitation Center and they connected Orr with physical therapist Moira Vayda, whom Marrocco says worked “tirelessly” with her father on his balance, gait and coordination. “This was to help him with his day to day but also for walking me down the aisle and our dance together,” Marrocco explains.

The father and daughter spent about a month practicing their dance in the kitchen ahead of the October 2023 wedding. “My mother and Moira looked on with tears in their eyes,” Marrocco remembers.

Holly Orr and her dad Bobby Orr.

Once Like A Spark Photography

On the big day, the pair took to the dance floor as Céline Dion‘s “Because You Loved Me” ballad played. “I had this song in my head for my father and me to dance to for a long time because the lyrics are everything I’ve thought of my dad my entire life,” Marrocco tells PEOPLE. “My dad has been everything to me, he’s been there with his unconditional love, to encourage, support and protect me.”

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Marrocco says she was “fully absorbed” in the emotional moment of the pair’s special dance.

“I remember thinking how confident and proud he was to be dancing with me. I teared up a bit, but the moment also made my heart so happy to be able to share such an unforgettable time with him,” she says. “We danced flawlessly with him twirling me, and I even gave him a few spins. I belted out the lyrics to him, and we laughed at how terrible my singing is even though in my head I sound just like Céline.”

Holly Orr and her father Bobby Orr.

Christina Orr

“My best friend and maid of honor said there wasn’t a dry eye in the place,” Marrocco adds.

Making the wedding dance even more poignant, Vayda was there to see all of her work with Orr come to fruition. “Moira attended our wedding in support of my father, which was so kind of her,” Marrocco says. “We absolutely love her and everything she has done for our family. She went above and beyond.”

Fox shared a clip of the touching father-daughter dance on TikTok with the caption, “Our patient Bobby has Parkinson’s disease and spinal stenosis, but that didn’t let that stop him from enjoying a very special moment with his daughter on her big day!”

Marrocco tells PEOPLE she was overwhelmed by the heartwarming response to the post.

“The comments were so sweet — total strangers saying how incredible and special it was and how the video made their hearts melt. I still go on the post to read all the comments and watch the video on repeat,” she says.

Holly Orr and her father Bobby Orr.

Christina Orr

Inspired by her father’s experience with Parkinson’s, Marrocco began to volunteer and later became certified as a coach at Rock Steady Boxing Boston, which offers non-contact, boxing-inspired fitness training for people with Parkinson’s. Her father is a member of the club.

“Coaching the class has allowed me to give back to the Parkinson’s community and help people,” she says.

Looking back on her wedding, Marrocco says she feels incredibly grateful to have had both of her parents join her for her walk down the aisle. “Having them both by my side was perfect,” she says. “It was a beautiful moment that I will cherish forever.”

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