Growing up with Cerebral Palsy I often wondered if I would ever experience my happily ever after. The fairytales my mom read me always followed the life of a beautiful princess falling in love with a handsome prince. You never read about a prince and princess in wheelchairs, or with any type of disability for that matter. I never got to experience typical romantic milestones. That was until my physical therapist Mark urged me to contact another one of his clients with cerebral palsy, David Stoner. It took my ever persistent best friend Kelly to give me the confidence to reach out. We really hit things off and this led to our first date. Like any young woman I was nervous, leading me to changing my outfit over six times.
Yet I was beyond excited and optimistic to meet someone who might truly understand me. Our first date couldn’t have gone better. We spent over four hours at our local Starbucks discussing everything from our mutual love of baseball and Harry Potter to the difficulties we have faced as young adults with cerebral palsy. David even reminded me this wasn’t our first meeting. We had in fact met at the age of three when we both received our first power chairs. Leaving that Starbucks I knew I had finally found my prince charming.
From that day forward we were inseparable. Our first summer together, in 2018, we reached many of the typical relationships milestones. We met the parents, discovered new things about each other, and started falling in love. Well I did at least, and it only took two dates for Dave to drop the L word. A year later our relationship had blossomed. I was preparing for graduation from my Masters program and was beyond excited for the celebratory trip with Dave and our families to Disney World. Little did I know I would also be receiving the greatest graduation gift of all, a fairytale proposal from my Prince Charming. Our first day we spent at my favorite park Magic Kingdom. Being the Disney Fanatic that I am, I was racing towards our favorite ride when David stopped me for a picture by the Christmas tree on Main Street. I didn’t stop complaining about getting to the ride and beating the lines until I realized Dave was being awfully sentimental and holding out a ring. I was in utter shock, all I can remember saying was “Are you serious!” as David’s mother helped him slip a gorgeous diamond ring onto my finger. At that moment, I felt pure bliss and it was just the two of us.
Suddenly I was in bridal mode, watching countless hours of Say Yes to the Dress and going crazy on Pinterest planning our big day. Thanks to the love and support of our family and friends our fairytale wedding has become a reality. We will tie the knot in May of this year. Our love story may not have been traditional but I am so thankful for the love David and I share. David has made me feel like a princess and he has truly given me my happily ever after.
I was in utter shock, all I can remember saying was “Are you serious!” as David’s mother helped him slip a gorgeous diamond ring onto my finger. At that moment, I felt pure bliss and it was just the two of us.