“12 years ago I was in this horrific accident that would forever change my life. I had never experienced true love before and for the next 3 years, I feared I never would. But then I met you...” is how my vows began on our wedding day 5.11.19…
On April 20th 2007 I was a passenger in a car accident & paralyzed from the chest down. I am technically a C6 quadriplegic. Since I have faced the typical struggles most people with a spinal cord injury endure but I’ve had many triumphs as well. My mom & I founded and have successfully ran NextStep Orlando Paralysis Recovery Center, an affiliate of the NeuroRecovery Network, since 2009.
One year after we opened our doors, I met my husband Matt, and he has been one of the biggest supporters in my journey to regain mobility and hopefully walk again. He knows how hard I work at it and how down on myself I can get during slow periods of progression.
Leading up to our wedding, I was constantly asked if I was going to walk down the aisle. To the point of where it became frustrating.... Yes, I work hard consistently at trying to walk again but does being pushed down the aisle take away from that? Why is it so expected for me to try to walk down the aisle? Just because I want to walk again, does not mean I am not happy with who I am or that I am ashamed of my disability. Matt certainly is not! He has never seen my wheelchair, only me. And I love him more everyday for it. (I don’t mean to offend any paralyzed brides that did choose to walk down the aisle, I commend you! My anxiety tends to get the best of me & I did not want to put added pressure on myself or the day)
Matt & I have traveled to Cabo, the Dominican and many baseball parks across the U.S. Our next stop is Europe for our Honeymoon in 2 weeks. (UPDATE: Matt & are I back from our honeymoon. Read all about it here) I try not to let my disability or my wheelchair stop me from living my best life possible & I am lucky to have found someone who believes in me as much as Matt does and entertains all my crazy adventure ideas.
It’s easy to give up after a spinal cord injury but there is happiness after out there if you allow yourself to find it!