Paralyzed Bride Walks Down Aisle in Inspirational & Emotional Ceremony (VIDEO)

paralyzed bride

A little over six years ago on March 22, 2008, Gina Giaffoglione of Glenwood, Iowa, was in a terrible car accident. The car she was driving flipped over -- she was ejected and pinned underneath it. Gina broke her back and the crash paralyzed her from the waist down. Before the crash, she was a very active person, even taught gymnastics to kids. And she wasn't going to let paralysis stop her. She began physical therapy the very next day and her goal was to walk again, but recovery wasn't going to happen quickly. Gina needed a wheelchair to get around.

In December of 2012, Gina reconnected with John Springhower, a guy who was a senior when she was a freshman in high school. They fell in love. John proposed. Gina said yes ... on one condition. She would marry him when she was ready to walk down the aisle. It took a year and a half of intense therapy, but Gina did it.

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Gina describes the feeling of paralysis like this: "My legs feel like when your foot wakes up from being asleep. It feels like that 24/7." So holding your weight up on that is very difficult. But she was determined. When Gina told her dad Gary that she wanted to walk down the aisle with him, he said:

Whether we roll down that aisle or whether we walk down that aisle, we're going to do this.

Gina didn't want to roll. She wanted to walk. Due to being in a wheelchair for nearly six years, it took a lot of work to get Gina's body to straighten. Once they worked on that, she learned to use a custom-designed brace along with a crutch for her to start taking steps.

More from The Stir: Paralyzed Bride Keeps Her Promise & Walks Down Aisle on Her Wedding Day

During the year and a half of therapy, the only people who knew that Gina's goal was to walk down the aisle was her fiancé, John and close family. To most attending the wedding on September 13, seeing Gina walk down the aisle was going to be a surprise.

A bride's entrance is always emotional -- I cry at every wedding, even weddings on television. I get teary if I happen to see a bride and groom exiting a church. So when I saw this, the waterworks turned on. It was inspiring and beautiful. Gina said:

I look at it as: I might be having a bad day, but I'm having a day. I'm here, I'm having a day. This walk down the aisle might not be what I always envisioned it to be, but we're having a walk down the aisle, and it's happening. You're here. You're blessed. And if I can help somebody, in some way, to maybe look at their life a little bit differently and be blessed to have their own day, that's what I'm having a day, in my eyes.

What an incredible woman with a message we should all take to heart.

How inspiring is this story? Does it make you realize what you take for granted?

 

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