Dating with a disability: Kansas couple leads a normal life of love and happiness

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – “You are all I ever want to know, oh my Sarah,” Joe White sings in a video to his girlfriend Sarah Smith.

It’s been like that since 2016 when Joe and Sarah had their first date at the Blind Tiger.

“And wallah, there is sweet sweet Sarah,” as White reminisces about meeting Smith for the first time.

Their story is a bit different than your average first date turned love story.

“I have a traumatic brain injury and she has a chronic injury,” he said.

White suffered a brain injury so severe in 2006 that he was paralyzed on one side of his body. Sarah Smith was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease at just 2 years old. Both of them beating all the odds of survival that were put against them.

“Their goals are very similar to what everyone else in society sets as goals,” Sarah’s mom Lisa Smith said. “They have the same hopes and dreams, they have the same ups and downs. They just go at life with a lot of joy.”

Sharing daily challenges is actually one of the things that keeps them so strong. Being there to help one another.

“What do you guys like to do for fun?” Reporter Molly Patt asked.

White looked a bit confused at the question because of his TBI, and that’s when Smith steps in to help.

“Eat tacos,” she said.

“Oh yeah, eat tacos, exactly,” Joe said.

While their relationship may look a little different from the outside, it’s really just finding a different approach to dating.

“They enjoy going with us, we go to chiefs games, we like to go out to dinner, we go to movies,” Lisa Smith said.

White said now, he knows he has one task to accomplish every day.

“Be happy with Sarah, that is my goal, she is happy.”

“Joe is known to suddenly pop up in my driveway while I’m in the kitchen doing dishes and he’s quietly leaving flowers or a gift for Sarah,” Lisa explained.

“We have a purpose, you know. A miracle, maybe God has a plan together.”

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