A woman who was paralyzed from the waist down made her childhood dream of walking down the aisle on her father’s arm come true – stunning her friends and family.
Gina Giaffoglione, an Iowa woman, who has been confined to a wheelchair since she was paralyzed in a car accident in 2008, went through over a year of therapy with a custom-designed brace to learn how to walk again for her wedding.
A former athlete, Gina has not let her disability stop her. She returned to college after her accident and, according to this 2011 Souix City Journal article, went back to teaching tumbling at her studio, Tumbling With Gina.
“I wake up every morning and try to move those toes. It never works, but someday. I’m not letting it stop me, by any means,” she said at the time.
It looks like her determination paid off.
“I’m my dad’s only girl, and I’m the baby. Dad deserves that,” Giaffoglione told local television news KETV.
Giaffoglione told no one about her plan except her fiancé, John Springhower, and her immediate family. She attended therapy, her father joining her for the last few months helping her with every detail.
“When you can’t feel anything, and you’re doing something you used to do that you used to take for granted… it’s a floating sensation you can’t even explain. It’s not even talking about the walking; your emotions are floating. Everything just seems to feel so good at that moment.”
Her friends and family were stunned speechless, many of them in tears as they watched the determined bride make her way slowly down the aisle with the help of a crutch and her father.
“[This walk] is our moment. That’s the last time that I’m a Giaffoglione and I’m on his arm,” said Gina. “He deserves it.”
“It was so special,” said Diana Palm, who was Giaffoglione’s physical therapist at CHI Health Rehabilitation in Iowa. “The fact that we can even help her get to that point is awesome.”
Brandi Peterson, KETV reporter, shared Gina’s inspiring story on her blog in a post titled “A Cinderella Story.”
“I stood in the corner of the center, holding back tears and trying to ‘remain professional,’ in awe of what I was witnessing.” Peterson wrote. “I also thought, wow, these two have been here, over and over, several days a week, at home, at the venue, inside, outside, all for ONE MOMENT.”
Gina isn’t the only bride who has done something special for her father on her wedding day. The woman in this recent Inquisitr article moved her entire wedding up and had it in a hospital so she could have a final dance with her dying father.
[Image via YouTube]