(WXYZ) - It's been one year since we watched a young woman from Canada who was paralyzed in a freak accident fight to walk down the aisle.
Well I decided to pay a visit to Jenn and Mike Belawetz to see how the couple has endured that life changing accident and their new role as husband and wife.
She's been called "The Paralyzed Bride" all over the world and who could ever forget that magical moment one year ago, when everyone would hold their breath as Jenn Belawetz would do what seemed impossible - walk down the aisle.
“I saw myself walking down the aisle with my dad just like every other girl. Then I got hurt so I had to change what I was originally thinking,” Jenn says
In Windsor, Ontario tears were flowing as she married Mike Belawetz, the man who proposed after she was paralyzed.
With braces she had practiced in for hours on end she walked to her one true love.
“I was so happy with how it went and the walk down the aisle was perfect, our dance was the best we had ever danced at that point, you know, with all the practice. I just kept telling him how happy I was with how that day went.” Jenn says.
That joyful day was a long time coming. Jenn and Mike were in a freak car accident four years ago. Mike, a paramedic, would have to carry her out of a van. She was the only one severely hurt.
It took years of physical therapy at the Detroit Medical Center's Rehabilitation Institute for Jenn to get to this moment of wedded bliss. Now Jenn and Mike's journey continues.
“It's been a year? So how's it going?” I asked her.
“It flew by really quickly,” Jenn says. ”In the last year we went on our honeymoon, which was amazing – two-and-a-half weeks in Hawaii.”
Jenn and Mike say Hawaii was beyond their imagination with its beauty. Mike would carry her to the water. Snorkeling was their favorite memory.
“The fish were just amazing the colors you see they're swimming right past you,” Jenn says.
“Any challenges for you guys while you were on your Honeymoon - especially with Jenn not being able to use her legs always?” I ask them.
“Not everything is accessible. It’s as accessible as American standards will be over there but they're also islands and there's a lot of hills and bumps,” Jenn says.
And where Jenn's wheelchair would not carry her, Mike's arms would.
“It makes me feel happy that I can do anything to make Jenn's life easier. So whether it's having to pick her up or to something that she can't get to, it's fulfilling, I guess,” Mike says.
Another challenge their love had to endure - living apart for nearly a year, because Jenn's parents’ home had wheelchair accessibility and Mike often stayed at his parents to be close to work.
All the while their new 2600 square foot 4 bedroom home was being built from the ground up.
“Every bit of that house had to be thought out ahead of time because if we went ahead and built it and it wasn't going to work for me - it wasn't going to be accessible - I was going to have to live with that forever,” Jenn says.
“There's an elevator that goes to the basement. We have a workout room as well in the basement, that way … Jenn's dad actually just built some parallel bars so Jenn can do a lot of her training at our house,” Mike says.
And Jenn's three day a week training at RIM has changed too. It's no longer about a walk down the aisle, but about living together in a new environment.
“More strength training keeping my core body strong so when I do go home I can adapt any of the workouts to my everyday life,” Jenn says.
And while a cat and dog will do, the pitter patter of little feet is still a possibility.
“Tell me does the thought of having babies scare you at all?” I ask.
“As soon as the child can walk, I can roll on flat surfaces but as soon as they start running I can't run after it so there are a lot of factors that worry me that make me feel it's a lot to take on,” Jenn says.
But from what we've witnessed there's no hurdle big enough that would prevent these two from stepping forward and facing another one.
“From here we'll take it one day at a time,” Mike says.
“The biggest thing I learned from doing everything in the last four years and even preparing for the wedding and reaching my goal was just to never really give up what you want,” Jenn say.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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