In the Facebook group for the Osteogenesis Imperfecta community, people from all over the world ask if marriage is possible. Personally, I don’t know why that’s a question but I knew I could help answer that question by asking those who are married. Here is the story of three Osteogenesis Imperfecta women (one day we will show the OI male point of view)Sofia, Kristin, and Natalie who share their love stories with AudacityMagazine.com.
What are your ages?
Kristin: We are both 37 years old.
Sofia: I am 34 and Jose is 39.
Natalie: I am 38 and Denis is 41.
Do you know your type of OI?
Kristin: I was never told and I’m okay with that too! Likely type 3 or 4 if I had to guess. I am a full time manual wheelchair user. I am able to stand and walk very short distances if I am holding onto something.
Sofia: I have O.I. type III. I use both a manual and a motorized wheelchair.
Natalie: I have type 3 OI and use a manual wheelchair to get around. I can walk with crutches and do so about 4 times a week for exercise purposes.
How many surgeries and operations have you had?
Kristin: I’ve completely lost count! I’d guess maybe 20 surgeries or so and around 75 fractures.
Sofia: I’ve had 5 surgeries and about 30 fractures.
Natalie: Countless surgeries, my first rodding was when I was 3 and a half years.
What are your backgrounds?
Kristin: We were both born and raised in Canada.
Sofia: I was born in Cartago, Costa Rica and I came to the U.S. when I was 2 years old. Since there was little known about O.I. in Costa Rica and no treatment options were offered, my parents decided to bring me to the U.S. to give me the best chance at life and I’m so grateful that they did. We settled in New Jersey. I had an amazing upbringing with my little brother. My father is a truck driver and my mother is a housewife. Even though they were never wealthy, they made sure to give us incredible experiences like going to Disney World every year, going on road trips all over the U.S., taking us to the circus and to see Disney on Ice at Madison Square Garden just to name a few. They were always so supportive of everything I did and pushed me to live life without any limits.
My husband was born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y. in a single mother household with 4 other siblings. He had a difficult upbringing due to low economic means, his battle with epilepsy as a child, and his mother’s diagnosis of breast cancer. He overcame so many challenges in life and was able to overcome them with the love of his family. The one thing that endeared me to him at first was how he spoke about taking care of his dying mother until her final days. Not many men have that kind of strength and compassion. We come from two completely different worlds but opposites attract, right?
Natalie: Both of us were born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. Canada.
Where do you live?
Kristin: We own a condo in Toronto, Canada.
Sofia: We rent a two-bedroom condo in South Bound Brook, NJ.
Natalie: Montreal, Canada.
What are your occupations?
Kristin: I am a Speech Language Pathologist and Mark works in Hospital Security.
Sofia: I am a demand planner for a book distributor and run a small makeup business and my husband is a security guard supervisor.
Natalie: I work in Human Resources and Denis works in IT.
How long have you been married?
Kristin: 8 years
Sofia: 2 1/2 years.
Natalie: 11 years this August 2021
How long were you together before getting married?
Kristin: Mark and I met online in 2006! We chatted for about a month before deciding to meet each other. It wasn’t obvious from my profile or photo that I used a wheelchair but as we talked more and made plans to meet each other, I told him about my disability. He has since told me that he didn’t completely believe that I actually used a wheelchair until he saw me sitting there at our meeting spot! He thought I was testing him to see if he was shallow!
Unfortunately that actually says a lot about the way most people view disability. He already knew that I was in university, that I was a synchronized swimmer, that I was often out with friends, that I drove, that I lived on my own, so then hearing that I was also a wheelchair user just didn’t fit with what he already knew about me! He admits it threw him for a bit of a loop on that first date, but we couldn’t deny that we had a good time and enjoyed each other’s company. His roommate encouraged him to go on a second date with me. We went to a bar that I was familiar with, with a bunch of my friends and any awkward feelings from the first date were no more!
Sofia: We were together for 8 years before marrying. We got engaged after 6 years of dating. If it were up to my husband, we would have been married a lot sooner. But I was really adamant about finishing college and jumpstarting my career before getting married. He was supportive of that.
Natalie: We met on an online dating website in 2005. I had bronchitis at the time so it forced us to do a lot of instant messenger communication for about 10 days. Then it was finally time to meet. It was November 24th, Denis arrived at my office building and we had a tremendous snowstorm so we were stuck inside. There weren’t many food options for a first date except this kind of fancy rooftop restaurant. Denis didn’t think twice about going there. We had amazing conversation. He grew up speaking French and I grew up speaking mostly English, but I can speak French as well. So I was trying to make him feel comfortable and spoke French. In return, he spoke English for me. Our food got cold and I called my adapted transit company to delay them three times before coming to get me.
Proposal: Tell us about it. Were there concerns about the OI or life with a wheelchair user? Or any other concerns?
Kristin: I do most of the planning and organizing and arranging in our relationship. We both knew that we felt ready for an engagement and that we wanted to be married to each other. We had already been dating for over 5 years and things were settling into place with our careers so, rather than leaving hints like some girls do, I pretty much just planned out the proposal for Mark. We had made plans to take a little getaway up north by the lake for the long weekend in the summer so I ‘suggested’ that would be a perfect time for an engagement. Mark took my cues perfectly and he proposed during our mini holiday.
Sofia: (For Sofia’s part, when she answers there will be an S. When Jose, her husband answers, there will be a J.) We were talking about possibly getting engaged in the future and he took me to different jewelry stores to just browse around for potential engagement rings. Well one day I fell in love with this rose gold engagement ring and unbeknownst to me, he placed an order for it that same day when I wasn’t looking. Once the ring was ready to be picked up, he said he could not wait to give it to me. He wanted to propose to me that same day.
(J) I wanted to propose to you in a place that held a special meaning to us both and I thought about the first day I saw you in person and the bench you were sitting on in front of your college dorm.
(S) It was June 18th and college classes were done so he knew it was the perfect time to do it. He went to the bench hours before and decorated it with flowers and pictures of us. That night he picked me up and told me he wanted to take a drive with me somewhere special. Once I saw the signs for Rutgers University, I knew he was taking me to that location already because he has done it before just to reminisce (he has his romantic moments). I thought we would just sit on the bench again and recall funny memories of our early dating days. When we walked up to the bench I was overwhelmed with how beautifully he decorated the bench with flowers and my favorite photos of us.
(J) I wanted you to know how much I loved you even from that first day I saw you.
(S) He dropped down on one knee and asked me to marry him and of course I said yes! He completely caught me off-guard and I loved the fact that it was just the two of us.
(J) I had no concerns about the O.I. or life with you in a wheelchair because I was already used to it and I love you unconditionally.
Natalie: I am usually the person who fills our dance card and books our social gathering. But for our 1 year anniversary he wanted to take the reins. And little did I know he overheard me talking to someone about me booking us a couples massage downtown at a spa the day after our anniversary. This part is important later in the story. Also leading up to our anniversary I was showing him these nice earrings I liked and hoped maybe to have for Christmas a month later. So he shows up at my office, in a suit with the little box of my “earings” and says that we are actually going back to the restaurant where we first met upstairs.
We were having a lovely dinner and I was teasing him about giving me my earrings so I could wear them and they’d sparkle so nicely on our romantic dinner hahaa. Then all of a sudden he starts doing a little “set up” at the table. He puts out a device that can play video/photo slide, where he created a slideshow with “our song” of all the things we did during our first year, including a location I always wanted to have our wedding at. Then I turned my head to say ohhh wow this is so amazing, he was on one knee beside my wheelchair and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes. Then I looked at the last picture of the slideshow and it was a photo of the ring.
I was absolutely shocked and elated. I was saying oh I can’t wait to go see your parents when we go back to your place tonight. The parents lived in the downstairs part of his home. Denis was like ohhhh ummm yeah they are out. All that because there was the Fairmount Queen Elizabeth hotel attached to the building and he had reserved a hotel room for us, knowing that we would be going back downtown for the couples’ massage. When I arrived in the room he had my PJs all rolled up nicely at the edge of the bed and everything. He did very good!
Preparation fo the wedding: Any obstacles? Challenges? Telling parents? Wedding dress? Wedding location?
Kristin: Probably the two biggest challenges when it came to wedding planning were finding a location we loved that was also accessible, and finding a dress that fit! There were a few disappointing venue visits where I loved the space but just couldn’t book a place that poorly accommodated wheelchairs. We did end up very happy with the venue we chose though – it was beautiful and also met our accessibility needs!
For my dress I decided early on that I wouldn’t even bother trying on anything in a store – it would just be ridiculous and there was no way I’d be able to get any idea of how something would like once altered, so I found a seamstress to make my dress from scratch! I was a bit anxious through the process as I found it hard to describe exactly what I was looking for, but she was so patient and wonderful and got my approval every step of the way! In the end my dress was maybe a little more pricey than I had budgeted for, but I do think it was worth it having something that fit me exactly!
Sofia: I told my parents the next day and they were ecstatic for us and shocked. We knew early on that we wanted to have a destination wedding in Costa Rica so we could include my whole family in Costa Rica. It would be easier to fly in Jose’s relatives than my own. My dream was to get married on the beach but we soon realized that wheelchairs and sands don’t mix. There was an all-inclusive beach resort I loved going to in Costa Rica called the Riu Place. Luckily, they had wedding packages!
It was a challenge to plan a wedding in another country because everything had to be done virtually and I couldn’t go in person to pick my flowers, taste the wedding cake, and meet the photographer. We decided to do the ceremony on the beautiful white, porcelain roof of the hotel building, which was overlooking the mountains and ocean. This choice was a lot more wheelchair-friendly versus the alternatives of doing it on the grass in the garden and beach.The reception would be held in a beautiful hall with high ceilings and chandeliers. It was going to be an elegant sit-down dinner and we hired a DJ & MC. Having air conditioning in the location was a must because I get overheated quickly due to the O.I. and I didn’t want to be a sweating mess on my wedding day. It was important to me to walk (or wheel I should say) down the aisle alongside my dad and not worry about someone pushing me. I walked down the aisle to the violin instrumental version of “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. That song always made me get emotional and I could hear the lyrics play in my head as I walked down the aisle and looked at my soon-to-be husband.
Wedding dress shopping was a blast at first especially shopping with my bridesmaids until I tried several shops and quickly realized that these dresses were not made for someone who is 3”6. I seriously considered getting a custom wedding dress made by this local designer I went to but $3,000 was a lot more than I was willing to pay for a dress I will only wear once. I finally found a beautiful short, strapless wedding dress at David’s Bridal. It had a fitted bodice, a sparkling belt, and a flared out skirt all covered in lace and bling. It had everything I was looking for in a vintage-inspired dress. The alterations costs more than the dress itself but at the end it fit like a glove! If you are as short as I am be prepared to add those alteration costs to your budget!
Coordinating everyone’s schedules who were flying in was difficult but I was so grateful that several of Jose’s family members and our friends were able to fly into Costa Rica for this once-in-lifetime moment. I had 1 matron of honor and 5 bridesmaids. My husband had 2 best women and 4 groomsmen. The way they were able to be there on our special day despite the cost of the trip was heartwarming.
We also took dancing lessons 2 months prior to the wedding because I wanted us to have that moment out on the dance floor and I know that dancing with an able-bodied partner was going to be challenge. We decided to do our own twist to the dance starting with a slow dance to “All of Me” by John Legend just when we walked into the reception area and then switch it to “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Justin Bieber, and ”Mi Gente” by J Balvin for the upbeat versions of the songs. He had to dip me in the manual chair at the end and he nailed it! I am so glad we invested in lessons because we wouldn’t have been able to choreograph that dance otherwise.
Natalie: As with all wedding planning, it can be fun and stressful. The part about us getting married was easy. But we chose to get married on my grandmother’s birthday to honour her and also Denis’s Dad was diagnosed wth late stage cancer a year and a half prior to our wedding so that added a little stress.
Day of the wedding: Take us there. What went through your mind? Church? City Hall? Vineyard? Wedding vows.
Kristin: We got married at my childhood church midday and then held our reception at a Golf Club later that afternoon. We asked our guests to remain seated throughout the Church service (cause I think standing is overrated obviously and we don’t need to stand to show respect or admiration). During the service I had to plan to have 2 of my groomsmen lift me up the 2 steps at the front of the Church for the signing of the marriage certificate.
Fortunately the rest of the Church and our reception location had good wheelchair accessibility. We even had a small ramp leading up to the head table during dinner. Mark and I took ballroom dancing lessons together leading up to our wedding and wowed our guests with a beautifully choreographed first dance 😉 The day was exactly what we wanted! We were surrounded by 200 of our closest friends and family and we spent the evening dancing, eating, drinking and sharing stories and well wishes!
Sofia: We were just having some girl time in the suite and drinking champagne and taking endless photos it was so much fun. Throughout the whole day I just felt excitement and the happiest I’ve ever been because not only was I marrying the love of my life but we were surrounded by everyone we loved the most. I didn’t even notice time passing and that the wedding coordinator was not calling us to come to the ceremony location yet. It was almost 5PM at this point and we should have already lined up but then my wedding coordinator comes in to tell me there is a delay with Jose but he didn’t have many details at the time. I jokingly said, “Did he run and they are trying to find him?” My maid of honor called my sister-in-law to find out what the holdout was and she informed us that there was chaos at the grooms suite.
Apparently, my soon-to-be husband was taking photos with his wedding party and an incident happened. The photographer told them to get on a ledge near the garden that was up a flight of stairs and Jose miscalculated his steps and fell down. He fell what was the equivalent of 2 flights of stairs and landed on some beach chairs at the bottom. Thank goodness he was not seriously hurt but he ripped his pants and his entire outfit was dirty. They had to rush him to the room to wash his clothes and sew up his pants. In that moment, all I thought about was that I ruined the wedding (hubby). I was grateful to have my sisters, cousins, and friends there to calm me down and fix up my suit (hubby).
Eventually, they fixed my husband up and the show was on the road but an hour delayed. We were racing against the sun because sundown was going to happen soon. I remember as I walked down the aisle with my dad and I saw Jose I just felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I loved this man more than anything in the world. He had the warmest smile on his face and looked so handsome in his suit. When I first saw you in your wedding dress, I was trying so hard to fight back the tears (hubby).
We wrote our own vows and we had written them on cards in Spanish. I always poked fun at him that I knew he would cry saying the vows and I am the one who ended up crying! Well we both did. His words were so beautiful and in that moment staring into his eyes I felt all of the love he had for me (me). The part when you mentioned my mother being part of our big day is what got to me the most (hubby). I don’t think there was a dry eye in the entire ceremony and we even had several people watching us from the balconies as well. That moment we kissed it hit me that now I was a married woman and J was my love for the rest of my life.
Natalie: Our wedding was such a special and magical day surrounded by soooo many loved ones and we had our reception at our fave spot that was featured in our slideshow for the proposal. We found a church that did not have too many stairs and my stepdad built a little ramp and painted it with our initials and with our wedding colours as a surprise the day of 🙂
Honeymoon: Where did you go if you went somewhere? Was it accessible? Did you get any stares or glares from strangers? Anything particular stand out in your mind?
Kristin: We both love to travel and worked to make our dream trip to BoraBora come true! We spent 8 gorgeous, relaxing days at the most beautiful, luxurious resort in an over-water bungalow. The island was so peaceful and mostly accessible as the grounds were flat with only the occasional small step throughout the properly which Mark was able to bump me over.
The island is only accessible by boat after landing at the small airport so I appreciate that Mark is able to pick up both me and my wheelchair and carry me short distances, like on and off a boat, when needed. The staff at the resort were incredibly kind and respectful and we didn’t feel like we got any unusual stares from staff or other guests. Most other guests were also celebrating a honeymoon or special occasion.
Sofia: Needless to say, our honeymoon was in the same beach resort we were married in and it worked out perfectly that way. We killed two birds with one stone, which is why I always gravitated towards a destination wedding. We did end up spending a week at the RIU Palace and another 4 nights at a different beach resort called Hilton Double Tree a couple of hours away. Both resorts were very handicap accessible, which is why we chose them. There was a beach walkway in the RIU resort that got it pretty close to the area we wanted to be in. Honestly stares and glares from the public is always the last thing on my mind and my husband’s. If there were any, I didn’t particularly notice. The one thing we loved about our honeymoon was that all of our loved ones were there for a few nights after the wedding day and it was like a huge family/friends vacation. It was definitely a once-in-a lifetime experience to have both his and my family and friends all on vacation in the same place.
Natalie: We went to Sandals The Whitehouse – Jamaica for 10 days and it was amazing. We lounged around and enjoyed just being on vacation and yes it was accessible.
Married life: How do you balance out what you can do with what you can not do?
Kristin: I feel that finding this balance is probably not much different than what most couples experience. I’m the planner and organizer and I take care of most of the day to day household tasks. I’m also more health-conscious and like making fresh home-cooked meals. It was important to us shortly after moving into our condo to make some renovations so that I could be independent in the kitchen and take care of meals.
Mark works crazy hours so sometimes he isn’t at home for dinner, so I needed to be able to manage that on my own. Mark takes care of the weekly tasks that require more physical ability, like taking out garbage, pumping gas, getting the groceries, cleaning the bathrooms. Of course we bicker like any other couple about the other one needing to pull more weight, but really the way we divide tasks works pretty well, considering our work hours and schedules!
Sofia: Married life is going so well. We had to find a place that was accessible for me, comfortable for the both of us, but also at ground level in case I was ever home alone and needed to get out quickly due to an emergency. Finding the ideal place to live was a challenge but I love the condo we picked out.
My husband as nurturing and compassionate as he is always takes it upon himself to do the major household chores like doing the laundry, washing the dishes, vaccumming, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. He said he would take care of all of that and he never complains and I think part of the reason is he worries I will hurt myself somehow doing it. I do my part in cleaning and organizing the house as well. I am a bit OCD when it comes to that.
Some of the challenges we had to face was accommodating the condo for me such as making sure I have dishes I can reach, arranging the furniture a certain way so I can get through easily, making the bathroom more accessible, etc. I am very self-sufficient and I don’t need a caregiver thank goodness so when it comes to that I take care of myself.
We work opposite schedules so I work during the day and J works nights but we always make sure to spend some time together even if it’s just having dinner before he is off to work. I don’t mind it at all because I love having my me time as well and I have the extra time to hangoutwith friends as well. On his days off we love to go out to eat with my family, visit parks, go on dates, or just have a quiet movie night at home.
One of the situations we have talked about was what would happen if I have a bad break one day and need extra care. He said he would be more than happy to help me with anything I need if that day comes, even if it means changing my bedpan or diaper if it’s a femur fracture. Not the most plesant thing to think about but I know we would handle it well because 5 months into us dating I fell off of my wheelchair while he was pushing me to the college library and I broke my right femur and left tibia. I don’t think the realization of O.I. hit him as hard as it did in that moment. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks and he was there for me every step of the way. That’s how you know you have a good man in your life. He passed the test with flying colors. So fractures in the future? Not worried about it. I also have my parents near me so if he has to work I know they would take over in my care.
Natalie: We divide and concur when it comes to our home life. We built our home 7 years ago where we made sure the kitchen worked for both of us, as he is able bodied. I am the cook and planner and Denis does a lot of the heavier type things like yard work and floor cleaning etc.
What challenges have you had to face as a married couple with OI?
Kristin: I think on an average day or week or month we don’t face many challenges as a couple that are unique to me having OI. We’ve created a pretty good life for ourselves by making some accessibility modifications to our home, deciding to live in a location that is conveniently located to places we need to access and working hard in careers that we enjoy.
In the 15 years that we’ve been together, we’ve only experienced one fracture together. I had a bad femur break a few years back that required surgery and landed me in the hospital for a week and in a cast for a month. Mark handled it well with a bit of help from my parents covering off a few shifts at the hospital and lending their availability to help out when Mark had to return to work.
Sofia: I would advise the O.I. individual thinking about entering marriage to think about your relationship with your partner and ask yourself if you are completely comfortable with that person and can you be your true self around them. That is very important because it will not always be sunshine and rainbows. You will go through challenges and hard times so you need to have a strong, selfless, compassionate, caring, and affectionate person by your side. Ask each other all of the tough questions before getting married like whether or not to have children, what would you do if your child has O.I. too, what will you do if you fracture, how will you both contribute to the financial responsibilities, etc. If you are not on the same page, talk about it and compromise.
Also there is no shame in going to couples therapy. It doesn’t mean you are failing in your marriage or you have serious problems, it means you are willing to work through it all to keep the marriage fulfilling and happy for you both. We have gone to therapy on and off throughout the years and I can’t recommend it enough because it makes you understand each other on a whole other level.
Having a healthy sexual connection is very important as well. You need to feel comfortable with your partner and confident with yourself. Our bodies are built differently and we don’t conform to the societal ideals of beauty but in a marriage is important to feel like your partner is sexually attracted to you and makes you feel that desire. Have fun with sex and find out what positions or acts are comfortable for you both. You should not hold back or have any shame with your husband or wife. (S).
I would tell the person who is going to marry someone with O.I. if you love that person unconditionally. Unconditional love is what will get you through all the tough times. There is an added layer of challenges as an able-bodied person dating an O.I. person in a wheelchair. Itwasn’t a difficult transition for me because I took care of my mom until she passed away and towards the end she was in a wheelchair unable to do much for herself.
If you don’t have any experience dating someone in a wheelchair, you have to train yourself to be conscious of picking date locations that are accessible, figuring out how to get that person and their wheelchair in and out of your car if they don’t drive, and having a lot of patience. The stares from other in public locations was hard to get used to at first and I wanted to call out everyone staring at her but I saw how she didn’t care who looked at her and didn’t notice most of the time so I slowly became the same way. No one has ever insulted us in public but if that moment ever came I would definitely defend her.
Are you willing to care for her if she has a fracture or surgery? That’s something you have to ask yourself because you will need to become his or her caregiver at that point. Are you willing to stick around though it all? When it comes to sex, just play around and find out what works. Height or weight differences does not matter in bed. Don’t let your O.I. fiancé feel insecure in bed and find things you can both do. (J).
Child rearing: What are your thoughts on children? Will you have genetic testing? If you have a child, how are you handling the upbringing?
Kristin: Both Mark and I never had a real desire for children and so far feel we are more than happy without. I am not sure if having a disability has influenced my decision. Generally I don’t think so, but I do wonder if growing up I just didn’t really picture myself having kids cause there were so few visibly disabled moms to show me what that would look like. If we did have kids, we both don’t feel we would have genetic testing. We’re aware there would likely be a 50% chance our child would have OI and we’d be more than accepting of that. I’m confident a child of ours would have a fabulous life, OI or not.
Sofia: We have always been open-minded about having children or just not having children altogether. If it happens, it will be a blessing but if not we are ok with that too. We had this discussion early on in our relationship and it was comforting to know that there was no pressure on having children on either side. I have always been hesitant about having kids because I love my independence and being able to travel often. If it happens that’s great but if it doesn’t, my life will not be any less fulfilling (S).
I would love to have kids one day but it’s not a deal-breaker if we don’t. Now that I am almost 40, I feel like I’m too old to have kids but we will see what God has planned for us (J).
Have you thought about the future and how your OI will affect the marriage? Have you prepared for it?
Kristin: We have considered that I likely will break more as I get older and if there are changes to my health that I may have to stop working earlier than typical. We’ve tried to make smart financial decisions and feel it’s important to work hard now so that we can afford the extra help we may need as we get older. (Working in healthcare with the elderly population has also really opened in my eyes to the need to save money for the later years!) Having OI has made me resourceful, it’s challenged my problem solving skills and made me a planner, so I feel like we’re ready for whatever is thrown at us! Ideally we’re taking early retirement and moving to the beach.
Sofia: One of the situations we have talked about was what would happen if I have a bad break one day and needed extra care. He said he would be more than happy to help me with anything I need if that day comes, even if it means changing my bedpan or diaper if it’s a femur fracture. Not the most pleasant thing to think about, but I know we would handle it well because five months into our dating life, I fell off of my wheelchair while he was pushing me to the college library and I broke my right femur and left tibia. I don’t think the realization of Osteogenesis Imperfecta hit him as hard as it did in that moment. I was in the hospital for two weeks and he was there for me every step of the way. That’s how you know you have a good man in your life. He passed the test with flying colors. So fractures in the future? Not worried about it. I also have my parents near me so if he has to work I know they would take over in my care.
Advice: What advice would you give others with OI and without OI who will marry someone with OI about marriage?
Kristin: Everyone’s situation and experience is going to be different! Having OI might mean there are a few things physically that are more challenging, but likely the person with OI has already figured a lot out. People with OI have a lot of other fabulous skills. Like in any relationship its best when we find a partner who complements our abilities and interests. I appreciate that Mark was able to keep an open mind 15 years ago when we first met and was willing to push aside his initial beliefs about disability and admit his beliefs were wrong. He’s been able to truly understand and appreciate accessibility and disability culture and has been an amazing advocate and I appreciate that so much.
Sofia: Marriage with or without O.I. is always a challenge because you are choosing to live and share your life with that person. Never settle for less than you are worth. Never let someone make you feel like you are less worthy of love or will be a burden to someone if you have O.I. You will find the partner who will check off all of your boxes and make you believe in true love.
One of my fears if becoming a burden later on in life to my husband due to injuries, surgeries, or just complications of growing older with O.I. Not because I think he will leave but because I don’t want him to worry so much. It’s ok to ask for help when you need it. I had to learn that.
Since he works nights and I stay alone, he always tries to make sure I am ok, can reach things, have my seatbelt on so I don’t fall, and calls in to check on me. That fear that you will get hurt will always be there for your able-bodied partner but that’s just part of them loving you. Let them check on you even if you feel it’s silly because they just don’t want to see you in pain again.
The next chapter of our life is to buy a house. We are looking to purchase a home next year and I am sure that will present itself with a slew of challenges. Since my parents are getting older, we want them to live with us so we need a big enough house for all of us, that is accessible or can be adapted to be so, and doesn’t break the bank. We are so excited to see what the future brings.
Natalie: When looking for love, always be true to yourself and people perceive you the way you perceive yourself. Show them that you can make their lives better just by being you and always stay hopeful and positive.
Each one of us deals with other OI related health issues, are there any you would like to share with our readers?
Kristin: I have scoliosis, stabilized with rods. I also have moderately bilateral hearing loss and wear hearing aids.
Sofia: I do have severe hearing loss and wear hearing aids in both ears.
I know our readers would love to know your social media platforms, care to share?
Sofia: Instagram – Smoorebeauty
Jose’s social media links:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jose.remigio.568
Instagram – Remigio62
Nathasha: As you can see having Osteogenesis Imperfecta or any other type of disability shouldn’t hold you from saying I Do to the love of your life. Thank you, Kristin, Sofia and Natalie for sharing a glimpse of your life with our readers. Let the engagements begins! Get happy! Get married!
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Here’s another fun article from another Osteogenesis Imperfecta woman on dating. Read about Taniya’s dating experience. Click here.