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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Artist Finds True Love Online
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 22, 2005

DARRINGTON, WASHINGTON--On Valentine's Day, the Everett Daily Herald featured a story about Darrington love-birds Nathan Herman and Ali Neenan.

Their relationship is a true testament to the life-transforming power of their love.

Herman, 21, has spinal muscular atrophy type 2, which affects his spine and limits his movement. This time last year few saw any hope for his future. Hospice workers were just waiting for him to die as he lost weight all the way down to 30 pounds.

Then he "met" Neenan in an Internet chat room. The 19-year-old from Massachusetts, who would deliberately cut herself because of her depression, found a kindred spirit in Herman.

They met for real when she came to visit in May. She never left.

Since then, Herman has gained 40 pounds. And it's been nearly a year since Neenan cut herself.

"My recovery since she has gotten here has been nothing less than miraculous," Herman said. "Most importantly, I am happy, truly happy, for the first time in my life.

"I was also kicked off hospice for being far too healthy," he said.

Neenan said: "I have goals, hopes and dreams, and a fabulous person to share them with."

The couple plans to marry in June.

Nathan Herman is an artist who does his work on his laptop, using his thumb on a heat-sensitive mousepad to guide the cursor. He sells copies of his work online, including his drawings of his beloved fiancée Ali.

"Two lives saved by love" (Daily Herald)
Nathan Herman's web page
"Beloved" drawing of Ali Neenan by Nathan Herman


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