When we think about true love and marriage, many images come to mind of a happy couple enjoying the best times of their lives together. People from all walks of life fall in love every day and couples with disabilities and limitations are no different. Mike and Jane Snell of New Milton have just celebrated an amazing 10 years of wedding bliss with their family and friends at a barbeque celebration. The Snell’s are a unique couple in their 50’s with special needs that have never gotten in the way of their relationship. Jane’s most memorable moment of her wedding day was having her 95-year old mother in attendance to witness her father walk her down the aisle. The couple reminisces about their Honeymoon spent in Bournemouth and the times spent in the Butlins. The Snell’s have fond memories of their wedding reception at a local pub. Family and friends took the honor and privilege of managing the event planning duties ranging from photography, driving, down to making the bridesmaid dresses.
Special needs can be met with assistance and through support systems. People with special needs are living more independently than ever before thanks to the advent of independent and assisted living facilities. Now that society has become more familiar with the living arrangements for special needs individuals, society can expect to see more marriages. The Snell’s are confident that others with special needs can believe in their dreams and fall in love, just like they did, and get married. The sky is the limit today and boundaries are only what you create them to be.
Mike Snell is a Parkinson’s patient who is challenged by ambulation difficulties leading to the use of a wheelchair. Jane Snell is also familiar with the ambulation struggles that accompany Down’s Syndrome. Despite both of their mobility shortcomings, Mike and Jane do not let this get in the way of their happy marriage and companionship. The Snell’s had lived in semi-independent housing for approximately 10 years before moving in together as a couple. Shortly thereafter, just two years later, the couple had married. Currently the Snell’s live in Sanctuary Supported Living Apartments and have all the assistance and special accommodations accessible at their fingertips.
The Snell’s are hard working individuals who do not allow their challenges and limitations to get in the way of their ability to work. Mike performed kitchen work at the New Forrest Day Center for a number of years. Similarly, Jane worked in the local school district. Both Mike and Jane never for a moment allowed their disability to hinder their capabilities at work. This is a clear demonstration of their dedication and self-drive to be active members of the community of New Milton. The citizens of New Milton were fortunate to be served by the Snell’s. Jane serves as a hero and leader to her niece, Alice, who also has Down’s Syndrome. Maybe one day in the future Alice will have the courage to go out and work and interact with all members of society in the same capacity as her Aunt Jane. Perhaps Alice will grow up and fall in love and live out her happily ever after dream.