I’LL RISE FOR THE LOVE OF MY LIFE Alex vowed to stand; he’ll stand for his vows

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - DAVID RICCIO

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

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