Articles

Ellen Welcomes Viral Bride Who Danced with Terminally Ill Father

September 27, 2019


One of the things
I love about my job is being able to share a
heartwarming, inspiring videos with you. This next video
of a bride dancing with her terminally ill father
was viewed over 1 million times last week. Take a look. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] [MUSIC – LEE ANN WOMACK, “I HOPE
YOU DANCE”] – (SINGING) –closes
I hope one more opens. Promise me that you’ll give
faith a fighting chance. And when you get the choice
to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance. I hope you dance. [END VIDEO PLAYBACK] Well, when I learned the
story behind that video, I knew I needed to meet the
bride and her husband, Mary Bourne and James, who
are in our audience. Come on down. [APPLAUSE] Hi, Mary Bourne. [INAUDIBLE] Hi, James. –so much. We’re– How are you? –incredibly happy. So first of all, that
was so beautiful. Thank you. And thank you so
much for being here. And so you got married
three weeks ago, right? December 29. And you just posted
it last week though? Roughly. Yeah, it’s kind of
been a whirlwind, but– It’s been a crazy few weeks. –yes, it hasn’t
been up there long. We didn’t post it. We didn’t even hire
a videographer. My photographer just
switched to the video mode and then she
uploaded it, I think while we’re on our honeymoon. And we came home and we’re
like, what has happened? There’s 12,000 views and
that’s a lot of views, and we couldn’t believe
that everybody watched it. And then the next
morning it was 35-ish. And we said to each other before
we were headed up to work, it’ll probably
calm down at that. And then it just kept
doubling over, doubling over, doubling over. We couldn’t believe it. It’s beautiful. I mean, it really is beautiful. I don’t know– you
didn’t seem to be crying. I know you and your
dad planned from when you were a little
girl that you were going to dance at your wedding. Yes. And then he was diagnosed. He got sick– Yes, ma’am. –two years ago? Yes, May of 2017. And so when you were going to– did you rush the wedding? You pushed it up so that
you could have him there. We were ready to get
married, but especially with that kind of
looming, we thought we shouldn’t waste our time. And then to us– everybody has
their own opinions, but to us, we wanted
to make sure, no matter what, whether it was
quick, short, and sweet or a beautiful wedding like we
were fortunate enough to have, we personally wanted to
make sure he was there. Yeah. Whether we needed to have
an impromptu wedding– if anything went
bad, we were ready. And did you know and did
he know you were going to dance like that with him? Not really. Me and my dad have
always danced together. But the day of the wedding
after this ceremony, he went up to his hotel
room because he was just a little tired. And we had our first dance,
he had his dance with his mom, and then the day
kind of went about. And then an hour or so later, he
gets brought into the ballroom because he was ready,
and it was so exciting. I wasn’t sure if it
was going to happen. And that song is so
beautiful anyway. I mean, it must have been
really emotional for you. And what was it like
for you to watch that? I am very emotional
all the time. And I knew during the wedding– and her dad is a very,
very emotional guy. I was trying to not hide
my tears but you know, show her that I was OK
because I didn’t want to start a downhill spiral. Well, I did a really
good job all the way until that dance started,
and I literally couldn’t see anybody but them two. And it’s till this day, the most
happy, beautiful memory I have. And I was crying. So if you zoom in
on me in the video, I’m just tearing up back there. Yeah, really bad. What about you? Well, I told my
mom I’m surprised I didn’t cry because composure
is not my middle name. I’m far from that. So I think with just the
hustle bustle of the day and my wedding planner going,
it’s time to cut a cake, it’s time to take these
pictures, your dad showed up, it’s time to do the dance. And I was like, OK, let’s do it. And I had done a little
bit of dancing with him, but I told him, I’ll
take care of it. You don’t worry about anything. Because he was still
able to stand in August. Yes. So that was something that
you just all of a sudden pushed him, around which
it was really beautiful. And I know that he
passed away last week. And how’s the family doing now? It’s been difficult. It’s
been a week as of today, so it has been a
really crazy few weeks. But one thing that we’ve just
been so appreciative of– you and your show– is
that this has given us something to laugh
about and smile about and keep us kind of
preoccupied and really joyful. And it’s been tough, but
this part of the process has definitely made it
a little bit easier. Well, that’s great to hear. That’s– Thank you. So your mom is in
the audience, and I know that he was a fan of
the show, you were a fan. So you all watched together? We did. And it gave him
something to look forward to in the afternoons
to make him laugh. And he was such a big hearted
guy and loved to laugh and had a big heart. So he felt a little
kindred spirit with you. Y’all are both very positive,
and he was always that way. Well, I am sure is
here with us right now with so much love in this
room and talking about him and thinking about him, so the
show is dedicated to him today. Thank you so much. And I have a gift
for you after this. We’ll be right back. OK, so you moved from–
where were you living? We were living in my hometown
of Greensburg, North Carolina. North Carolina. And then you move to Alabama
to care for your dad. Yup. We got the phone call in
May 2017 that he was– a tumor was found. It takes the diagnosis to happen
until after the brain surgery. So we found out he had a tumor. Not sure what the prognosis was. But I looked at
James and I was like, I don’t think I want to
come back, especially– I went home for the surgery. To see how invasive
a brain surgery is. –surgery and– Excuse me. She kind of just said,
hey, I’m staying here. And I said, hey,
I’ll finish the bills and I’ll come right after you. So we moved probably a month
or two after the surgery. OK, so you’re– We’ve been in Alabama just
down the street from my parents trying to help out
as much as possible. Well, I’m sure your
mom appreciates that. I’m sure that’s a
gift to have you here. And what’s next for you all? What are you doing? Big question mark. The last three weeks
have been so crazy. We need to slow down and
kind of think about it. But for now, we’re going to
stay in Alabama with my family. I’ve got four siblings and
tons of nieces and nephews. So we’ve got just a great
community and support system. So we’ll stay there– Will you buy a house there or– We will. That’s the goal. We’d love to save up
and start a family and buy a house back in
Alabama where my family is. Great. Well, we have an early– well, it’s not early. It’s a gift for you. And I told my
friends at Cheerios how much love that
you have brought into the world with
this video, and they want to give you $25,000. What? [YELLS] Oh, my god. Thank you. Oh, my god. What? Thank you. Thank you. Oh, my gosh. I want to hear about
your act of good. Go to my website. Tell me what you’re doing. Hi, I’m Andy. Ellen asked me to remind you
to subscribe to her channel so you can see more
awesome videos, like videos of me getting scared or
saying embarrassing things, like ball peen hammer. And also, some videos of
Ellen and other celebrities, if you’re into
that sort of thing. Yah! Ah! [BLEEP] God [BLEEP]!

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