By Leah Fox
A romantic met the love of his life just FOUR WEEKS after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
Ian Garrity, 52, met new wife Michelle Garrity, 51, on a dating site in June 2018 – before the loved-up couple got married just a year later.
When chatting on the site, Ian, who is unable to work due to his illness, mentioned to Michelle he had just been diagnosed with the disease, which affects the brain and nerves, after feeling a pain in his foot just two weeks earlier.
But now, the happy newlyweds, from Bolton, Lancs, are living life to the full despite the fact Ian has become constrained to a wheelchair during the course of their relationship.
Michelle, who is Ian’s full time carer, said: “At first I didn’t really know what motor neurone disease was, but when Ian told me it was the disease Stephen Hawking had, I completely understood.
“It made absolutely no difference – I like him for him, and his illness isn’t an issue for me.
“No one knows what’s round the corner, so we just keep taking everything day by day.”
Ian added: “Michelle and I met online while I was going through diagnosis – she supported me all the way even though we’d only just met.”
The happy couple became very close within just a few dates after they met, and got engaged in January, just five months after they’d first hit it off.
And while Ian was unable to get down on one knee to propose, due to the disease spreading through his body, they laughed the situation off.
The happy couple got hitched at Holy Infants Church in Bolton last month in front of 50 guests and said they had the perfect day.
Before Ian was diagnosed, he spent weeks feeling pain in his foot, which eventually got worse and lead him to collapse.
He spent two weeks in hospital having tests until doctors confirmed he had motor neurone disease.
Ian was mobile when he met Michelle, only walking with a small limp, and used to drive her to their dates.
But for the last four months, he has been confined to a wheelchair and has lost the use of his hands and the left side of his body.
Ian said: “The minute I saw Michelle I knew she was the one.
“We’re never apart and we don’t get bored of each other.”
Ian is now in urgent need of stem cell therapy treatment and will have to travel to Russia for the procedure, which is not available on the NHS.
The stem cell therapy Ian is hoping to receive will involve taking bone marrow from the spine, and re-injecting it to regenerate stem cells.
Ian’s niece, Jayne Kuchcinski, 50, said: “He’s the kindest, loveliest man I’ve had the pleasure of growing up with and Michelle is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet – she helps Ian out so much and they’re inseparable.
“Ian and Michelle just got married, so I’m just praying that we can all see them have a great future together.”
Jayne has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Ian’s treatment, which will cost £11,000.
To donate: go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/pqphav-stem-cell-research