Spotlight On Nickole and Kami

Where do you guys live?
BOTH: We live at the Timbers in Wichita, KS

How and when did you both first meet?
BOTH: We met playing Boccia in the summer of 2014.

What did you like about the other person? What attracted you to them?
NICKOLE: Kami’s sense of humor and her ability to make me laugh are what first attracted me to her, but as time went on, I realized that the thing I loved most about her is that she makes me want to be a better person than I am. I know it sounds totally cliché, but it’s true.
KAMI: I’m probably going to sound like everyone else when I say that the first thing that attracted me to my wife is that I thought (and still do) that she was beautiful. It wasn’t until I got know her that I realized that her beauty isn’t just skin deep. She’s a truly beautiful person and wants to help people in any way she can. 

When did you get married?
BOTH: We got married in June 2016.

What do you like best about being married?
KAMI: Truly, I like the commitment and knowing I have someone to go through life with.
NICKOLE: The best part of marriage for me is being able to wake up next to my best friend every day. 

What do you like the least about being married?
NICKOLE: I hate getting on each other’s nerves.
KAMI: I don’t like that my actions no longer only affect me, like, if I mess up, my wife, our daughter, and myself pay the consequences.

You both have disabilities. What are your disabilities?
BOTH: We both have Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy to varying degrees.
 
How does having disabilities affect your marriage?
BOTH: We both agree our disabilities don’t really affect our marriage too much. It gets frustrating when one of us can’t help the other with something sometimes, but, at end of the day, we do the best we can for each other, and really, that’s all you can ask for out of any marriage.
 
Did each of you set out to date/marry someone with a disability or is it something that just happened?
BOTH: We definitely did not set out to marry someone with a disability, but we both agree that, in a lot of ways, our disabilities have made our relationship stronger because we know what the other is going through.

What is your favorite thing to do to spend time together?
BOTH: Watching movies/TV shows and cuddling together.
 
What is one challenge that you have faced in your relationship and how did you work through it?
KAMI: One of challenges I faced in our relationship is, a lot of my family/friends would say things like, “Why would you want to be with someone with a disability?” or “You know you can’t take care each other,” and, my personal favorite, “It’s not like you can have a real relationship.” Finally, I just had to learn to block those people out and trust in our relationship.
NICKOLE: In the beginning of our relationship, my wife was not very strong/confident with her place in the disability community. She was told her whole life that she should hide her disability as much possible, so I had to teach her having a disability isn’t a bad thing.   

How do you, as a couple, work through conflicts?
BOTH: By talking through our problem, as hard as it may be at the time.

What are your future plans as a married couple?

BOTH: Our plans are to create a loving environment for our family to grow in, support each other through Law School and our future careers, and eventually expand our family through fostering.

What advice do you have for youth with disabilities who are out there right now dating and trying to find their partner?
BOTH: Stop looking. Often, when you are looking for someone specific, you miss out on the people in front of you.

What advice do you have for having a successful relationship?
BOTH: The things that have made our relationship work is lots of communication and “willingness” to listen, so that’s our advice.