Watch the video of the man who met the love of his life.
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Ian Garrity, 52, woke up one day feeling a pain in his foot. That pain later turned out to be motor neuron disease, a disorder that affects the brain and nerves that rendered him unable to work. Things looked bleak for Ian but only four weeks after his diagnosis, he managed to meet the love of his life.
Ian met Michelle Garrity, 51, in June 2018 through a dating site. A year later, the lovebirds got married.
According to Ian, he informed Michelle about his condition up front but that was no impediment with the couple now happily married despite Ian being confined to a wheelchair. Michelle has become Ian’s full-time carer and she doesn’t mind at all.
Michelle said: “At first I didn’t really know what motor neuron disease was, but when Ian told me it was the disease Stephen Hawking had, I completely understood.
“It made absolutely no difference – I like him for him, and his illness isn’t an issue for me.
“No one knows what’s around the corner, so we just keep taking everything day by day.”
Ian added: “Michelle and I met online while I was going through diagnosis – she supported me all the way even though we’d only just met.”
Even after a few dates, it was already obvious that they were meant for each other and got engaged only five months after the first meeting. And it didn’t matter that Ian couldn’t get down on one knee to propose due to his condition.
Last month, they got married at Holy Infants Church in Bolton with 50 guests cheering them on.
Weeks before Ian’s diagnosis, he had been feeling pain in his feet. However, the pain eventually got so bad that he collapsed. Two weeks of tests confirmed that Ian had motor neuron disease.
At the time he met Michelle, Ian actually only had a small limp and could even drive for their dates. But four months on, he couldn’t use his hands and the left side of his body anymore and had to be confined to a wheelchair.
Ian said: “The minute I saw Michelle I knew she was the one.
“We’re never apart and we don’t get bored with each other.”
What Ian needs now is stem cell therapy but since the procedure is not available on the NHS he may need to travel to Russia for treatment. The stem cell therapy he’s looking at will extract bone marrow from the spine and then be re-injected to regenerate stem cells.
Jayne Kuchcinski, Ian’s 50-year-old niece, said: “He’s the kindest, loveliest man I’ve had the pleasure of growing up with and Michelle is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet – she helps Ian out so much and they’re inseparable.
“Ian and Michelle just got married, so I’m just praying that we can all see them have a great future together.”