A man in China got “married” to his four-year-old daughter, who battles an aggressive form of leukemia, after she expressed the desire to be a bride before she died.

Yuan Dongfang said the idea of holding a special “wedding ceremony” for his daughter, Yaxin, came to him when he was comforting his crying daughter at her ward in Boren Hospital in Beijing. Doctors had already told Dongfang his daughter had only a couple of months to live without proper treatment that would cost 1,000,000 yuan ($144,985).

The helpless father told Chinese outlet BTime that his family had already spent all their savings and run into extensive debts after borrowing around 400,000 yuan ($58,000) for paying Yaxin’s medical expenses since she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia – a type of blood cancer mostly affecting younger people that begins to form in young white blood cells in the bone marrow – in September 2016.

After a recent operation, Yaxin, who was in pain, kept on insisting to be taken home, a demand that her father could not fulfill. That is when she expressed her dying wish – she wanted to be a bride.

“I told her that we could go home when she recovers. She could go home to find her playmates, go to the zoo or school, find a job or get married,” Dongfang said. “Then she asked me ‘when would I be able to get married?’ And I answered, ‘When you grow to the age of me and your mother.’”

Yaxin was not convinced and kept on saying she could not wait that long to get married. Instead, she asked her father whether he can be her “boyfriend” and get married to her.

“She might not understand the meaning of getting married. She might just think that it is a wonderful thing and therefore wants to do it,” Dongfang added.

Her father agreed and in an impromptu ceremony in her hospital ward on Nov. 17, Yaxin dressed up as a bride with a makeshift wedding dress – a white towel draped over her head and another one around her waist. Dongfang got down on one knee and presented his daughter with a small bouquet of flowers as part of the ceremony.

Yaxin’s mother also witnessed the ceremony. In one of the photos taken after the ceremony, Yaxin was seen staring at the bouquet of flowers with wonder in her eyes as she lay in bed.

Dongfang moved with his wife to China's Liaoning province bordering North Korea to Beijing, after Yaxin was diagnosed with cancer so the 4-year-old could undergo nine-month-long chemotherapy sessions. Although her health improved briefly after the initial treatment, it started to deteriorate in September when the parents learned that Yaxin’s condition had advanced to acute myeloid leukemia, Mail Online reported. 

In order to get financial aid from the public for an emergency transplant, Dongfang pleaded to multiple media outlets.

“She really wants to keep on living healthily. She is so innocent, native, cute and mature. We cannot leave her behind. We hope kind-hearted people in the society could help us save our beloved daughter,” he said.