Last month, Gina Giaffoglione walked down the aisle with father on her wedding day. But for Gina, this was no small feat. The 27-year-old was paralyzed from her belly button down in a car accident after she got into a vehicle with a drunk driver when she was just 21.
Before the accident, she was a gymnast and a competitive athlete and had full use of her legs. Now, she uses a wheelchair to get around. Gina said, “‘Basically my legs feel like – like when your foot wakes up from being asleep. Feels like that 24/7. When you can’t feel anything, and you’re doing something you used to do that you used to take for granted – because I did, everybody does – when you’re back up and doing it, especially having Dad on my arm, it’s a floating sensation you can’t even explain.”
To prepare for the wedding, she spent a year and a half in physical therapy and practice to make her dream of walking with her dad come true. Her father, Gary told KETV7, “I told her, whether we roll down that aisle or whether we walk down that aisle, we’re gonna do this, whichever way we have to do it – it’s been her dream. Obviously it’s a dad’s dream to have the honor to walk a daughter down the aisle.”
With the support of her fiancé, her father, and a hidden back brace, on September 18th she pulled it off and walked down the aisle. She stood confidently in front of friends and family as she said her vows.
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Despite Gina’s paralysis, she’s always lived life with a positive attitude. She 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 would be, but we’re having a walk down the aisle. It’s happening.”
Prior to the wedding, the only people who knew that Gina was planning to walk down the aisle were her family and her fiancé, John. Gina said, “He’s just that wonderful of a guy that he doesn’t see the chair. He just sees me for me and forgets about how I get around.
Now, Gina wants her story to encourage others who may have similar disabilities or challenges. She concluded by saying that for her it’s a blessing just to be alive. She said, “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 why I’m having a day in my eyes.”
Watch the inspiring video below.