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  • Writer's pictureLeslie Goodmanson

Mr. and Mrs. Graveline

Updated: Oct 29, 2019

I met Katie and her mom at a bridal show when they came to ask questions that I had only been prepared for because of my background as a teacher. She asked me if I had ever had any experience with photographing a couple with special needs. As a photographer, no, I had absolutely no experience with any special needs. However, as a high school teacher, I knew that there was nothing to be scared of, it was just a matter of communicating what the needs were and how I could serve. Come to find out Katie was born with Spina Bifida. She has worked hard physically and emotionally to overcome so many challenges related to Spina Bifida her entire life. She is strong, kind, inspiring, quick witted, and genuine. She loves and is loved something fierce. I just had to learn about how Katie was most comfortable, so I could work with her to create some beautiful images. Katie's mom refers to her as a miracle baby for so many more reasons too! But Katie isn't the only miracle. The love her her life, Joe, is also a miracle. When Joe was 11, he was involved in a tragic car accident where he lost his mom. He miraculously survived having 21 points of bruising on his brain but was kept in a 6 week medically induced coma. After which he had to relearn basically everything including how to even talk and walk. He overcame short term memory loss and to this day has partial paralysis to his right arm and right leg to this day. Exactly 19 years to the day, after the accident, Joe proposed to Katie because he wanted to have his life change again for the better by asking her to be his wife. Katie and Joe were married October 4, 2019 by a priest who works at their church who happened to be trained under a priest from another church who coincidentally was a spiritual advisor of Joe's mom, Regina, more than 20 years earlier. Both Katie and Joe are from Michigan and Joe is a huge Detroit Tiger's fan and Katie graciously made nods to Joe's favorite baseball team throughout the wedding decor including the orange and blue of the team's colors that accessorized her wedding tennis shoes, the table colors, seating chart, florals, Joe's bow tie and so much more. One of the other special moments about their wedding was Katie asked her guests to join her in wearing tennis shoes because she has never been able to find dress shoes to wear with her leg braces, and her guest, bridal party, parents, and all kids obliged her wishes and donned tennis shoes in every color! Congratulations Katie and Joe, it has been a pleasure meeting you both, hearing your story and being able to document a little bit of it. Your story has been a blessing to me.

Congratulations Katie and Joe!



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