Ben and Erica Love Story — Reeve Connect
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Ben and Erica Love Story

esantanielloesantaniello Member Posts: 1

Hello WAGs of SCI!! My name is Erica, and I’m 23 years old. Today I’m here to introduce you all to my amazing boyfriend Ben 🤩 Our story just started in 2018, however Ben’s SCI journey started back in 2015. 

He was on a school trip in France visiting a pen pal. On the second day he ended up suffering a freak spinal cord injury while diving into the ocean. His injury is C4/C5 complete quadriplegia. But nothing stops him from having an amazing attitude and outlook on his life! Ben was supposed to start college at UMass Amherst in the fall of 2015, but this happened to be pushed back until fall 2017 at the University of New Hampshire due to some complications with his injury. He is studying finance and is looking forward to graduating in the spring of 2020 with unlimited possibilities ahead of him.

One interesting fact about me is that I had the amazing opportunity to work with the SCI population during the fall semester of my senior year. I studied Recreational Therapy at the University of New Hampshire and did a full-time internship at a local inpatient rehab facility. I later found out from Ben that he was previously a patient on the floor I worked at, three years prior to me working there. Thinking back on this experience now, it taught me an entire new outlook on life and truly helped me become more comfortable with all that comes with SCI. 

Now fast forward to the spring of 2018. I’m a senior in college, getting ready to graduate and figuring out the next steps of my life. My sorority was having a cocktail event and I had decided to put myself out there and ask Ben to be my date. To be honest, our story of how we met is kind of funny because it isn’t this big romantic ordeal that you see in movies lol. Him and I had some mutual friends in Greek life, so one day I happily messaged him asking him out. I guess he thought it was pretty cool for a girl to make the first move

As the weeks went on, we ended up spending more and more time together! Unfortunately, Ben wasn’t able to make it to the cocktail because he ended up getting a really bad fever. He was sent to the hospital for about a week. But that didn’t stop us from still being friends!

Ben went home for the summer as I graduated and still lived at my apartment until my lease was up. I knew then that he was a very special person in my life and I couldn’t imagine not seeing him all the time. I spent my entire summer visiting him, then ended up moving back home because it turned out that we are originally from the same area in Massachusetts! 

Now it’s 9 months later and I couldn’t be happier🥰 Our lives are filled with so much love, positivity, happiness, and adventure! We enjoy being active, going out to eat, and spending time with family & friends. We are currently on our first big trip together in Disney World, which is Ben’s first trip since his accident! 

Ben is the love of my life and everyday he motivates me to be the best version of myself. We both have big goals and I can’t wait to see all that we achieve together


  • WAGSofSCIWAGSofSCI Moderator Posts: 384 Moderator
    100 Awesomes 100 Likes 100 Comments First Anniversary
    Welcome Erica & Ben!

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey and relationship with all of us. There is so much value in being able to openly discuss and expose our different and unique relationships with each other (as WAGs of SCI) but also with the entire community. Many of us (wives or girlfriends) wonder or have wondered if there was anyone "out there" who could understand the unconditional love we have for our men. Spinal Cord Injury, doesn't mean that your life is over and it certainly does not mean that you do not deserve to live the life what you want. Going to school, or participating in sports or getting a career or even learning to date again and getting yourself out there doesn't have to be scary and you prove just that. WE commend you for sharing your "love story" as it teaches all of us that dating after SCI is possible at ANY age. Thank you for that. 
    Your WAGS of SCI
    (Elena and Brooke)
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