> B.C. seniors keep love alive with romantic rides on wheelchair

B.C. seniors keep love alive with romantic rides on wheelchair

Vancouver –

Janice Foran will never forget the night her blind date picked her up in a Town Car and a tuxedo.

“The car didn’t impress me too much. It was rented,” Janice recalls with a smile. “But he owned that tux. That was impressive!”

Her date, Peter Foran, was a introverted banker. Although extroverted Janice worked for an accounting firm, her true passion was dancing.

“I would shuffle my feet at the company dance,” Peter says, before admitting he doesn’t like dancing at all.

Despite their differences, Janice and Peter started dating.

“There were butterflies in my stomach,” Janice says.

Eventually they said, “I do.”

“She is a life force that draws me out,” Peter says. “And I’m probably the steady locomotive that keeps us intact.”

After 44 years of marriage, Peter may no longer travel by Town Car, but he’s still taking Janice out on dates.

Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Peter takes Janice for romantic rides on his wheelchair. They travel along the city’s bike lanes and waterfront paths, with her sitting sideways across his lap, her arm draped around his neck.

“Peter is a gentleman in every sense of the word,” Janice smiles.

Although he can’t do things like open a door for her anymore, Janice says he’s never stopped making her feel like a lady.

“He says he’s got his treasure on his lap!” Janice smiles.

When his neurologist suggested that MS should stand for “missing spouse” — because of the distance it can cause between a couple — Peter encouraged Janice join a dance society so he could support her passion from the sidelines.

“I tried it get along with her dance crowd,” Peter says. “Which is not a banker’s crowd.”

Until Peter found a way to turn her crowd into his audience.

Peter and Janice collaborated with her dance instructor to choreograph a performance that included his wheelchair.

“It was just brilliant. Just amazing,” Janice says it was just about the most loving thing he could do.

“Every day is a blessing with him.”

The couple recently moved from Victoria to Vancouver to be closer to their grown children.

Now, a whole new community is seeing their romantic rides and seeing that despite life’s inevitable twists and turns, there is a way to keep love moving straight ahead.

“You can either get bitter and retire from the world,” Peter says. “Or you can force yourself to get out and get at it.”  

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