Andy Rice's Story
My wife and I are launching a GoFundMe campaign for Wade Conway and Kendra Creek. We, being career educators with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation in Evansville, Indiana, have over the years taught and supported students of all capabilities. Wade, one of my students from 2001 to 2005, served as one of my baseball student managers, recently shared their engagement. Wade and Kendra both have disabilities. Wade has arthrogryposis, which is a cousin to Muscular Dystrophy that includes very limited mobility, and he’s had 19 surgeries. Kendra, at 22 contracted Bacterial Meningitis, which resulted in her losing her limbs, becoming a quadruple amputee. Both face daily challenges that most people wouldn't consider daily challenges.
Our wish is to enable them to have the wedding, reception and honeymoon of their dreams. Please help us and donate to the GoFundMe! Kendra and Wade's Local News Article Click for article.
Wade Conway's Story
When I first started talking to Kendra through online dating, I had no idea she had a disability. Close friends had brought up on many occasions that I needed someone who understood completely what living with a disability entails. I always agreed with the premise but could never take it as far as to see myself dating a disabled person. So the moment I realized this amazing woman I was enjoying chatting with was a quad-amputee, I was humbled, accepting and excited all at once.
She was everything I needed. The differences that held back previous relationships brought us closer together. Not only could we share our love of music, movies and food together, I could also recount my 19 surgeries, countless doctors appointments, life and death situations, personal loss and the untold stories I could never share until now. Kendra opened me up emotionally and allowed me to unburden myself of always questioning whether someone understood; she did.
I love her laugh because it makes me laugh. I love her smile because it makes me smile. I just love all of her. The best part about Kendra, however, isn't her mannerisms, how amazingly beautiful she is or the wittiness of her humor. The best part about Kendra is that I always know she loves me.
There has not been one second of our entire relationship that has made me question her love. That is why I am marrying Kendra. That is why I want to see so much with her and spend the rest of my life with her. I hope that if you are reading this that you have someone just as special for you, and if you don't you will find them. We are both a living testament to that.Kendra Creek's Story
Kendra's Workout Story
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Wade and I met through a dating app in June of 2017. It began with a simple bear waving, "Hello!" I sent back what I thought was a fox, which made us begin to question our whole existence, and we've been inseparable ever since!
Wade and I had our first date at Zuki Downtown in Evansville, and I talked his ear off about my goals, while he watched me, practically in dead silence, so I wasn't sure how well the date went. But I called him later that evening to let him know that I'd had a great time and that I hoped to see him again.
We spent hours on the phone, night after night, talking about anything and everything. Telling each other our dreams, our accomplishments, our failures, triumphs, near-death experiences, and everything in between. A couple of days later, Wade asked me to go to lunch with his closest friends and caregivers. It was an experience, for sure! We got along really well. Then I headed off to spend the weekend with my cousins at Lake Rudolph for the 4th of July.
That weekend, Wade and I told each other that we loved one another. Not too long after that, Wade would tell me that he knew the moment he saw me when I walked into the restaurant, that I was the one. We made our relationship official on July 5th, 2017.
We have seen some difficult struggles; spending quality time together while living with our respective families, searching for a home for the two of us, and eventually moving in together in December of 2017. The first few months were hard, I struggled to let go of my previous lifestyle, but began to grow with Wade and trust in him. He became the person I confided in the most, and the person I knew to always allow me to be free with my emotions and made me feel comfortable being myself. Wade became the one person I could tell absolutely anything to, without fear of judgment, and without fear of heartbreak.
Wade proposed to me completely to my surprise, on May 5th, 2018. We were at a Bosse baseball game, a doubleheader that day. He had told me that the head coach wanted me to throw the first pitch! Confused(because I don't have hands, lol), but truly honored, I wanted to do my best. After they announced both teams, they announced that there was going to be a special guest throwing out the first pitch. I had tossed a couple balls into the glove of a young player, and was convinced I was going to fail miserably, but ready to give it my all! I walked out to the mound, where the head coach grabbed me by the shoulders and asked me if I was ready. I told him I was. He asked again, "are you sure you're ready?" I assured him I was. He said again, "I just don't think you're ready for this!" And at this point, I started to get anxious. What in the world was Wade doing behind me? I thought they said something about us throwing the ball together. I start to turn around and the assistant coach steps out of the way. In front of me is Wade standing there with a box carrying a beautiful necklace with a gorgeous ring on the chain and he says, "Will you marry me?" I'm in total shock and say, "Are you freaking serious?" As I start to cry, I hug him, kiss him, and say, " Of course!"
On January 5th, 2019, it'll be a year and a half that Wade and I have been together. I am blissful.
On September 7th, 2019, I am marrying my best friend, and the only man I will ever give my whole heart to. The only man whose last name I will ever take as my own. The only man I could ever imagine spending the rest of eternity with. I am so grateful to have found the one my soul has longed for.