You’ve seen the ice bucket challenges taking over social media, but this morning we’re sharing the real ALS story of Adam and Hollie. They met as nurse and patient, but somewhere between weekly treatments and Adam’s eventual diagnosis they managed to fall in love. What happens next is one of the most beautiful, touching, wildly inspiring weddings captured by Liz Wang Photography, and a true reminder that love conquers all.
From the Bride… I am a nurse, Adam was a patient. It all started from there. As Adam was normal and healthy as can be, I never really noticed him until this strong, handsome man walked in our office door pushing a wheelchair. Ever since that appointment, I was assigned to his case to start biweekly treatments in an exam room for 3-hours a day, every week for a year. Yes, you tend to get to know a person rather well seeing them that often! His smile, laugh, and frequent “courtship” poetry is what made me fall in love. At first we were treating Lyme Disease, but my heart and mind were telling me otherwise. Once I finally got Adam on board, we went to one of the top Neurologist in UCLA. Our end diagnosis – ALS. He tells me right then and there, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want my last days seeing your face, kissing your lips, sleeping by your side. I understand if you don’t’ want this burden on you. But if you want me, I want to marry YOU. What do you say?” With tears coming down my face, “I wouldn’t want it any other way, Yes, I want to take care of you and make sure you get the best care possible.”
We set out and even though the dark ALS cloud was above us every waking moment, we had one positive thing to look forward to – our wedding day. Adam and I made dual decisions on everything. He was just as involved as I was. From the venue, to flowers, to our photographers, down to my wedding dress, he was there. I fell in love with my dress as I drove by Camarillo Bridal’s window. When I told Adam, he immediately said, “Let’s go!” Adam came with me to my dress fitting. He is the only person I want approval from. I want to make sure he fell in love with it as much as I did. I wanted to see his face the minute I had that dress on, and of course, his smile was from ear to ear.
Our venue was another game changing aspect. I love the beach, and he loved the woods. We both knew a wheelchair was going to be necessary for the wedding. He dreaded that, as we even looked into renting a “standing” wheelchair. But that was out of the question. As there was no such thing as renting one and if we bought one, it would have only been for it’s one time use. A beach wedding was a complete “No” from Adam as he always called the beach, “A big ol’ ashtray!” Having a wheelchair on a beach would only draw more attention to him as well and he didn’t want that. So we both agreed on a woodsy theme and Walnut Grove was chosen.
That day was the best day ever. I never thought I would have a beautiful wedding, but every detail was perfect. The venue even had a brick walkway from the ceremony area to the reception area. They were right next to each other too! There was a linoleum dance floor and a dirt path that was kept clean so not every rock or stone gave Adam speed bumps as he whizzed by greeting every one in his wheel chair upon each person’s entrance. After our ceremony, my cousin surprised us by making a handmade wooden sign. It was hung on the back of his wheelchair. It read, “ Just married.” As we walked down the aisle as husband and wife, that first snapshot was the best. Our son holding my right hand and my left on his wheelchair. It was priceless.
Our first dance was one to remember by all as well. I delicately sat on his lap, one arm around the headrest of his wheel chair and my head on his chest. I kept whispering in his ear, “Don’t go too fast or I’ll fall ok? That would be so embarrassing!” He said, “I would never let you fall…” We giggled…we danced in circles for about 1 minute to our wedding song,“In my Life” by The Beatles. At the end of the night, we both were as happy as can be, and I promise you, ALS was on our mind the whole day, but Adam’s words played out in my mind and I’ll never forget it. “I may have ALS, but God knows… I’m going out with a BANG!”
Photography: Timon And Liz Wang, Liz Wang Photography | Dress: Camarillo Bridal | Cupcakes: Missy's Cupcake Creations | Wedding Cake: Bread Basket Cakes | Catering: Command Performance Catering | Hair And Makeup: Cara Hartley | Dj And Sound: Mark, Production Navigators | Photobooth: ShutterBooth | Wedding Venue: Walnut Grove At Tierra Rejada Ranch