I’LL RISE FOR THE LOVE OF MY LIFE Alex vowed to stand; he’ll stand for his vows
FOR three years, Teigan Power has stood stoically beside her inspirational fiance, Alex McKinnon.
This afternoon, it’s Alex who plans to climb out of his wheelchair to stand tall opposite his beautiful bride.
The emotion-charged moment Alex and Teigan thought would never arrive is here. Alex will marry his loyal and loving partner in front of 150 closest family, friends and the NRL’s biggest names, on a certain-tobe-moving Sunday in the Hunter Valley.
League luminaries including Wayne Bennett, Andrew Johns, Trent Merrin, Danny Buderus, Kurt Gidley, Dane Gagai and Beau Scott will be among the football fraternity.
Australian Test fullback and Brisbane Broncos captain Darius Boyd will stand beside Alex as his best-man.
Teigan has chosen her older sister, Abbey, as her maid of honour.
With tears streaming down his face, Alex – who suffered a devastating spinal injury in a catastrophic tackle while playing for Newcastle in 2014 – proposed to Teigan from his hospital bed, seven days after suffering the life-changing injury in Melbourne. “Of course I will,’’ Teigan replied.
With no movement in his legs, Alex, 25, pledged he would walk his “soldier” Teigan, 23, down the aisle on their wedding day.
With incredible fight, spirit and torturous daily rehabilitation to spark strength back into his legs, Alex will defy the doctors’ original diagnosis and stand for the couple’s vows.
The frustration, strain and focus during repetitive rehab to train his gluteal muscles, hips and knees to “lock-in” while being helped to stand up from his chair, has been both gruelling and rewarding.
Video posted on Teigan’s Instagram of Alex rising from his chair and walking with the assistance of a frame and two trusted rehabilitation staff, from the Gold Coast’s Making Strides, offers only a small glimpse of the “lucky progression” he has described regularly in interviews.
It’s difficult to believe that three years ago, the entire rugby league community gathered as one to ‘Rise For Alex’. Yet with the assistance of his groomsmen and a support stand, Alex will rise for his bride.
Those in attendance will witness an unbreakable bond, formed from that very first moment when the two teenagers from country NSW met in 2011, at a pub birthday party in the Hunter Valley town of Denman when Teigan was just 16.
Guests will hear how Alex demanded from his hospital bed that Teigan chase her own goals and complete a degree in primary school teaching – she now teaches Year 4s.
They will smile at the energetic couple who refuse to let life hold them back; their recent travels together, alone, to New York, no greater example.
They will applaud Teigan’s willingness to transport Alex to corporate speaking engagements and his work with Fox Sports in a modified van.
The powerful sight of Alex standing, awaiting his bride at the altar, is a moment few considered possible. For Teigan, the sight will be the greatest of her wedding gifts.
“It doesn’t worry me if he walks me (down the aisle), or is just standing at the altar; I still get to marry the man of my dreams,’’ Teigan said. UNBROKEN
POWER COUPLE: Alex McKinnon and fiancee Teigan Power. Picture: Nick Leary