“I’m my dad’s only girl, and I’m the baby. Dad deserves that.” – Gina Springhower
6 years ago 27-year-old Gina Springhower was paralyzed from the waist down following a car accident. Since that time, the McClelland, Iowa resident has refused to allow this paralysis to define her or to slow her down. It was this contagious and energetic attitude from the former athlete turned coach that caught the attention of John Springhower.
John knew he had a good thing on his hands when he fell in love with Gina, so he decided to make it officially official when he proposed to her in December of 2012.
Gina told KETV, “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.”
When she started making wedding plans, she revealed to her dad, Gary Giaffoglione, that she wanted to walk down the aisle with him. He reacted to the news just how a daddy should:
“I told her, ‘Whether we roll down that aisle or whether we walk down that aisle, we’re going to do this.’ It’s been her dream. Obviously it’s a dad’s dream of having the honor of walking your daughter down the aisle.”
Gina began the grueling work to achieve her goal; Months of therapy to teach her body how to straighten up tall again. Then several more months, multiple days a week, to learn how to use a custom-designed brace especially made to fit underneath her gown.
While John and some close family members knew, none of the other attendees had a clue until the big moment:
When asked to reflect on the journey Gina 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 to be, but we’re having a walk down the aisle, and it’s happening. You’re here. You’re blessed. And 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 what I’m having a day, in my eyes.”
I’d like to say thanks to Gina for inspiring the day I’m having.