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Cashland Coworker Helps Bride Accomplish Her Dream

Editor's note: You can see Jared and Stevie's story featured on the Thursday, September 12 edition of ABC's The View.

The nation is watching after an emotional walk down the aisle for a Cashland coworker and his bride.

Each decision you make Cashland coworker Jared and his wife, Steviecan have an impact on the rest of your life. A decision made by shop manager Jared VanAusdale and his new bride, Stevie, led them down the aisle and into the spotlight of the national media.

Jared proposed; Stevie said yes and made the decision to walk down the aisle on their wedding – a feat that seemed nearly impossible because she is paralyzed from the waist down. This decision came with nine months of intense rehab at a therapy center in Detroit.

“She put in brutal hours making sure she was going to be ready to walk down the aisle,” said Jared, Shop Manager at Cashland 3047 in Toledo, Ohio. “There were times that frustration was getting the better of her.”

When the time came to make the walk, Stevie and Jared decided to allow a local media outlet film the journey. By the time they came back from their honeymoon, the story had spread across the nation.

“It was a tidal wave of emotion. I had 300 people staring at me and I was trying not to cry,” Jared said. “I was with her through all the work leading up to our wedding and knew how hard she worked for that moment. To see her actually accomplish this goal was one of the most emotional things I’ve ever experienced.”

The Toledo news station had been following Stevie’s story from the beginning. In high school, Stevie was in a car accident that killed her friend and left her paralyzed. "It’s important for Stevie to let people know that just because something horrible happens to you, it doesn’t mean you stop living your life," Jared said.

In the days following their wedding, Jared and Stevie’s story appeared on CNN, the Today Show, Yahoo and several other news outlets. Next week, The View is flying the couple out to appear on the show and afterward they will stop by Inside Edition to tell their story. The View episode is scheduled to air on Thursday, September 12.

“This is all new to me and I’m not used to all the attention,” Jared said. “It’s important for her to get her story and message out there. This is an opportunity for her to talk to more people and let them know the decision that you make can change your life forever.”

Cashland coworker Jared with his wife, StevieShop Manager Manages Love
Sometimes you don’t know just when a coworker will turn into Cupid. Jared’s fellow shop manager and friend, Teri Mullinger, turned out to be just that for him and Stevie.

Several years ago Teri's daughter, Brianna, was in an accident on the way to school. One of Brianna’s legs had to be amputated and her best friend was killed. Because Brianna and Stevie’s accidents were so similar, Stevie reached out to the family to offer support.

Both Jared and Stevie were visiting Brianna and Teri in the hospital on a regular basis, but they didn’t meet face-to-face until Teri decided to act.

“She came up with this harebrained scheme for us to exchange phone numbers,” Jared said.  

The scheme: Jared and his mother were planning to host a fundraiser for Brianna, and Teri said he should contact Stevie to help put the fundraiser together. She then told Stevie that Jared had some questions about putting together a fundraiser.

“It wasn’t until after we started dating that Stevie asked me what questions I had about the fundraiser,” Jared said. “I responded with, ‘What questions?  What are you talking about?’ Then she explained to me what Teri told her about why I needed her number, and at that point we both knew it was only to get us to exchange numbers.”

A year into dating Jared knew he was going to propose, and shortly after the couple started planning a trip to Hawaii – the perfect setting for Jared's proposal. One day during their stay in Maui, they drove the perimeter of the island and found a lighthouse in a secluded spot as the sun was setting. That spot was the beginning of Stevie’s journey down the aisle.

“She is a gorgeous person – from top to bottom, an absolutely great person,” Jared said. “She is the one person I can always be myself around. Being myself is always good enough for her.”



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