Nick has great cognitive skills. Robin has street smarts. Nick is confined to a wheelchair. Robin can use a walker. Together, their days are spent compensating for one another and crafting a life routed in love, trust, patience, understanding and triumph –over cerebral palsy, a disease with which they both have suffered since birth. A neurological disorder that compromises body movement and muscle coordination, cerebral palsy turns everyday tasks into Herculean contests that can test the tenacity of those whose lives it affects.
He said. She said.
“She’s got real street smarts that come from some pretty tough experiences,” Nicks says of Robin. “She’s seen and been through a lot. And she can read.”
“But he can really comprehend things,” says Robin. “He can’t read, but boy, can he comprehend.”
At first, Robin and Nick did not foresee how well they fit together. Mismatched at the start, they refused to have anything to do with one another. Nick, however, eventually came around and took an interest in Robin, who then took even longer to recognize Nick as “the One.”
“It was really Nick’s mom that kept at me,” says Robin. “Over time, I opened up. Now I can’t imagine a life without him.”
The unlikely pair first met at the College of Southern Nevada in 2004, but when sparks didn’t fly, it would be several years before the couple would give their second chance meeting the opportunity to blossom into a friendship and, eventually, a romance.
“Nope – I didn’t think twice when I met him the first time,” confesses Robin.
“In fact, I had to really work hard to get her to be my friend,” shares Nick.
Both agree that it was Robin, who was stubborn, and Nick, who was in hot pursuit the first time the couple met. There was also a time when Nick made Robin chase a bit.
The couple met a second time when they discovered, three years later, that they lived in the same apartment complex.
“There he was, again.” Robin discovered Nick had moved into her apartment complex. “I couldn’t believe it.”
This time, though, Robin was willing to give friendship a try.
“But that’s all she was ready for,” laughs Nick. “I enjoyed being friends, but I was ready for more. For me, it had always been love at first sight.”
Nick had to be patient and that wasn’t easy.
Finally, in November of 2009, Robin agreed to go on an official date with Nick. The two enjoyed dinner and a movie at Sam’s Town. After that, they became inseparable. So much so, that Nick popped the question just one month later.
“I said, you’re asking me to marry you? Nah, you’re crazy!” tells Robin.
Nick wasn’t deterred. “I knew I needed to wait her out.”
Their romance flourished as they spent time together hanging out, watching TV, cooking dinners and going to the movies.
“I caught her off guard,” Nick admits. “I was casual. It was unexpected. It was just a regular night and we were together at home, hanging out, when I told her the second time that I wanted to marry her.”
“Are you asking me to marry you?” Robin replied.
“You know I am!” said Nick.
“Yah, I know you are . . .”
Though the exact date of their proposal remains a mystery to both, they agree it was in April 2010. A ring for Robin came later and following that, came the selection of a wedding date in June 2011.
Meeting Wish Upon a Wedding
Las Vegas Wish Upon a Wedding (LVWUW) met Nick and Robin in September 2010 at a Las Vegas bridal show, where the couple, accompanied by family members, was shopping for wedding ideas and gathering inspiration. Following the show, the two completed their Wish Upon a Wedding application and were notified of their acceptance just days later.
“We had absolutely nothing planned, other than our date, when we applied to Wish Upon a Wedding,” says Robin. “Now the wedding is real and we are so excited. There is so much going on, so much to think about and Wish Upon a Wedding is doing it all.”
“A couple, like Robin and Nick, is a strong match for Wish Upon a Wedding,” states LVWUW Chapter President Adam Frasier. “Because their physical challenges are so great, planning a wedding can be an insurmountable task without proper support and resources. It’s exciting for our community, under the Wish Upon a Wedding umbrella, to be able to provide what this couple needs to make their wedding a reality.”
Lately, their days consist of wedding planning and ironing out the assorted details that arise when one has cerebral palsy.
“Did you know there are no handicapped-accessible limos in all of Vegas?” posits Robin. “Maybe an airport van – I’ve had to use those before to get to appointments.”
Transportation that can accommodate wheelchairs currently tops a list of needs specific to Nick and Robin’s wedding. Event schematics will include seating arrangements that allow for easy wheelchair access at both the ceremony and the reception, as Nick is confined to at all times, though Robin can use a walker. Table linens must be secured, so as to prevent Nick’s chair from snagging a table cloth and bringing an entire table’s place settings crashing to the floor.
“We are always having adventures with our wheelchairs,” Nick shares with a laugh. “We just don’t want any of those adventures on our wedding day.”
Loews, Lake Las Vegas, the venue chosen for Robin and Nick’s event, has begun an inventory of special needs that will be addressed so that Robin and Nick can relax and enjoy their day. Everything, from an extended time line to providing accommodations for both bride and groom, is being accounted for.
“The entire Las Vegas event industry has stepped up to provide for Robin and Nick,” says Natasha Chornesky, vice president of LVWUW . “This is a learning experience for all involved, including the couple.”
“Now that we know what is involved in planning a wedding, we recognize we could not do it without Wish Upon a Wedding,” concludes Robin.
Nick and Robin will be married at Loews, Lake Las Vegas on a Wednesday in June 2011. Event planner Arlene Barba is coordinating the wedding. Additional creative partners have yet to be selected by Wish Upon a Wedding.