A bride shared a beautiful first dance with her groom who is battling ALS by wearing roller skates so she could dance in time with his electric wheelchair.
Mark Russell and Rosemary McGoff, from Endicott, New York, met in high school and dated twice – but they didn’t end up together until 2019.
In late 2021, Mark, 67, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease – commonly known as ALS – and over time started to lose his independence, first the use of his legs and now function of his upper extremities.
For that reason, Mark uses an electric wheelchair, which Rosemary, 65, his primary caregiver, wanted to incorporate into the first dance at their wedding.
Having realized the chair’s stand function made Mark significantly taller when he moved around, she decided she would wear roller skates to match Mark’s every move.
For months before the wedding the pair practiced at home, Rosemary’s daughter, Brittany Hall, 38, said.
And on the big day itself, which took place on May 20 in Binghamton, New York, Brittany and brother Daniel helped wheel Rosemary onto the floor in her skates.
Their loved ones, who had no idea about the surprise, went wild as soon as they saw Rosemary and Mark dancing together.
Brittany said: “At that moment I felt so proud of my mom and Mark.
“I work with individuals who have developmental disabilities and I am familiar with inclusion and adaptation, but I realized how creative this was.
“Not only did my mom find an ingenious solution, but she did so in a way that helped Mark feel like he had independence and was included in this big important moment in his life in a way that was exciting, fun and entertaining.
“Everyone has loved this video – our family and friends were so supportive and loving.
“We have felt overwhelming support and love from everyone, both those we know and those we don’t.
“We hope others see there is always a path to inclusion and that people see the resiliency and strength in love like this, and that we help bring awareness to ALS.”