‘I met him on a dating site. I was scared because you hear horror stories about creeps. Out of all the guys, Jimmy was the ONLY one who didn’t ask me. He changed my life completely.’

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“28 years ago on November 10th I was born with a spinal cord injury due to my doctor using forceps, and came out basically dead. Fast forward to today, I’m still here on earth and getting married in 3 months! Doctors, nurses, and staff would tell my parents that I wouldn’t be able to do much, just like a vegetable. I wouldn’t breathe on my own, wouldn’t be able to use the bathroom on my own, wouldn’t be able to move, and so on. But they were wrong. Here I am doing everything they said I couldn’t! I may be on a breathing machine and in a wheelchair, but to be honest, I do more than anyone else would.

Courtesy of Alyssa Lorio

I pushed myself to where I am today thanks to my strong parents and friends who didn’t give up on me. Now my fiancé takes part in that. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know where I’d be in life today. I took OT, PT, speech, and went to a disability camp near me every summer called Jawonio, until I was a senior in high school. I went to a public school and not once did I get bullied. Everyone there treated me just like anyone else would be treated. The same happened when I went to college.

Courtesy of Alyssa Lorio

Now you’re all probably waiting for the love story, right!? So here it is. Almost 6 years ago I met my fiancé, Jimmy, on a dating site. I was scared to go on it because you would sometimes hear horror stories, how men are no good on those sites, or just creeps in general. Yes, don’t get me wrong, that can be true because trust me, I had a lot of creeps asking me inappropriate questions. But out of all the guys, Jimmy was the only one who didn’t ask any of those questions. He was kind, sweet, caring, and loving.

Courtesy of Alyssa Lorio

He asked me on a date a few days after texting, and when I got home, he asked for a second one. Of course, I said yes. We dated that summer but had a falling out. Just like any other relationship, you have your ups and downs. We started talking again a few weeks afterward, and maintained a friendship – then, we grew to love each other. He learned more about my breathing machine, wheelchair, trach, and how to take care of me if I needed it.

Photo by @theramsdens

While we were still dating, he decided we needed a real vacation where I needed to experience my first flight ever. I said, ‘deal!’ We planned a trip to California and did what any other tourists would do. Rent a car (which was handicap accessible), flew into LAX, started from Los Angeles, and visited the Santa Monica Pier and Malibu, and drove down to San Diego. On our last day we even went to Disneyland! I wasn’t scared at all for this trip, it was the most exciting time of my life. Not only because it was the first trip ever without my family, whom I was always with, or first time flying ever, but I loved it so much it was with him, and in California! Who doesn’t get excited for California, right!? He also made me a go on my first roller coaster! As you see, he changed my life completely.

Courtesy of Alyssa Lorio

After 4 and a half years of dating, he proposed to me the day after my birthday with a GoPro on his head, standing at my front door. Now we are planning a wedding, which like I said, is around the corner and we are so excited. Stressed just like any other engaged couple would be, but looking forward to the big day!

Despite of my disability, I am living my life to the fullest!”

Courtesy of Alyssa Lorio
Courtesy of Alyssa Lorio
Photo by @theramsdens

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Alyssa Iorio. Follow her on Instagram here. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our free newsletter for our best stories.

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