In Peer Profiles, Sexuality

What would happen if singles began a huge paradigm shift? If innocent connections led to partnerships beyond the social norms? SCI BC Peer Ashley Swartz explores how an unexpected moment of attraction revealed the man of her dreams.

What would happen if singles began a huge paradigm shift? Possible partners chosen by a pure innocent connection, beyond the social norm. People with disabilities would be admired for their inner strength, courage and pure tenacity to challenge themselves, above and beyond.

My name is Ashley Swartz. I have lived with Multiple Sclerosis for 40 years.

But this is not about me.

It is about a wonderful day, last autumn. A day when I decided to explore a community event and then attend a BBQ hosted by Spinal Cord Injury BC. While enjoying my time at the community event, the strangest thing happened… A man with the most wonderful smile caught my eye.

But he never saw me.

There were two opportunities to say hello… Instead, thoughts of regret. Is it because he is in a wheelchair and at this time, I am not?

No matter. The BBQ awaited. And what a marvelous group of people! Some able-bodied, and some not.

It was at this party, that this same man with the most beautiful smile, rolled in. And from the moment we saw one another, it was pure kismet.

Mohee, being the gentleman he is, used his tiny Swiss Army knife to cut my food with perfect precision, and discuss an array of topics I barely remember. Mohee, an incomplete parapalegic from Iran, and me. Both in our fifties. One originating from the U.S. and Canada, the other from Iran, now a permanent resident of Canada.

We do not have sanctions between us.

We are not derailed by the other’s physical challenges.

We like and love one another, for love’s sake alone.

It is a gift getting to know someone like-minded. One who is defined not by his wheelchair, but for the man he is today. If more able-bodied people started to allow attraction to include those with disabilities, perhaps we would live in a world with many more possibilities, beyond barriers or borders.




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  • Donna Herringer

    What a beautiful and well written story Ashley. I enjoyed even word.

    i am busy getting ready for CHFA WEst but will be more available in March. Let;s get together then.


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