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Paralzyed Bride Jennifer Darmon Makes Good on Promise to Walk Down the Aisle
A Car Crash Paralyzed Jennifer Darmon's Legs in 2008
Jennifer Darmon walked down the aisle on her wedding day this weekend, which was a particularly moving moment since she has been confined to a wheel chair since a crippling car crash in 2008.
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On Saturday, the radiant bride strode to the altar with the help of leg braces and a decorated metal walker. That short but momentous stroll came after years of intense therapy and a vow she made to ABC's "World News" March 25.
"You know, picturing your wedding, you don't picture rolling down the aisle," she said after she was chosen as the "World News" Person of the Week. "You picture the walk with your dad. It's the most important thing. I will be walking down the aisle. It's not an if or a maybe. It's absolutely going to happen."
Darmon, 28, made good on her promise and said "I do" to Mike Belawetz, 25 this past Saturday.
"It's so nice for everyone to see the end result. All the work I've put into it over the last couple of years," Darmon told ABC News affiliate WXYZ after the ceremony.
"I'm proud of my wife," Belawetz told WXYZ, the ABC affiliate in Detroit, after his wedding. "Her accomplishments and it just feels really great to be here today."
Darmon was a bank teller from Windsor, Canada, and Belawetz, was a shy paramedic who did more than his share of banking. The year was 2006 and Belawetz was going to the bank three times a week.
"Obviously she's a very, very pretty girl, which was the main attraction," he said, and that "kept me going to the bank."
They eventually started dating, and falling in love. Then tragedy struck in 2008.
They were on a road trip with friends when an oncoming car struck their van head-on. Everyone was able to get out of the vehicle after the crash, except for Darmon, who couldn't move. Being a paramedic, Belawetz was able to move her from the car. As soon as he ran his hand down her spine, he knew that his worst fears may be confirmed.
"I couldn't feel my legs," Darmon told ABC News. "I went into hysterics. I was screaming and crying and not really knowing what was going on." After getting checked out at the hospital, doctors told her she would never walk again.
She endured numerous surgeries and grueling three-hour physical therapy sessions three times a week. She made the 45-minute drive from her home in Windsor, Canada, to the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan in Detroit in her car, which had been modified so she could accelerate using a hand crank. All the while, she wondered whether this was too much for Belawetz.
"I told him a few times, 'You don't have to stay if this is something you don't think you want in your life for the rest of your life,'" Darmon said. "I figured that I would spare him."
"The accident made me realize that if there is something you want to do, do it while you can," he said. "If you have people close to you, let them know."
And he did, proposing to Darmon on their four year anniversary as a couple.
ABC News' Enjoli Francis and James Wang contributed to this article.