From Friendship to Love: A Courtship Grown out of the Love of Sports

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The Love Story of TV Producer Jenny Siegle and Fiancé Eric

Jenny is a TV Producer for “Altitude Sports”, a regional sports network, at which she is the only one within the company with a disability.  She got the job by getting her Journalism and Mass Communications degree from the University of Northern Colorado, with a minor in Speech Communication, as well as through networking and starting at the bottom.

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Jenny Produces for Attitude Sports

She met her fiancé via traditional means (now considered the “old fashion way” in this internet dating times!), in person and at the ground floor job she had taken as an usher for the Colorado Rockies baseball team.  He was also hired as an usher, and was new to area from Las Vegas.

She has now become a video production specialist, running replays, editing, and building highlight packages that go out on the big scoreboard. As a Host/Usher she made connections, and once out of school, there was an opening. With the encouragement of her friend Eric, she applied and got the job! Eric now works for Comcast as a Communications Technician.

Gorgeous engagement photos by EJ Dilley Photography! 

Jenny contracted transverse myelitis at nine months of age, and has been a C4-5 incomplete quadriplegic ever since, but has regained partial use of her hands and arms.

She is pretty much fully independent with daily living, eating, writing and typing on computer, and drives her adaptive car to and from work and activities. She only requires caregivers in the morning and at night.

Eric knows some of her basic care, so when they travel they can manage without bringing along anyone. However, Jenny feels that there are “Some things I don’t want to do with him, and want to draw a line.”

Jenny’s determination, personality, and public persona has led to her being a Spokesperson for two medical companies, Sunrise Medical, and Aspen Seating and Ride Design.

While the position is unpaid, this has enabled her to get some great equipment to use and try, as well as invitations to travel with them to trade shows.

Jenny was born and raised in Colorado with one older sister, now married, and with two children that she is very close to as well.

Eric and Jenny have lived together since 2009, and they have a dog they treat like their child. However, children are not on radar due to her demanding and busy career. Some weeks are the regular 9-5, but if covering sporting events, a game, or a community event, it could go up to her working anywhere from forty to seventy hours a week. During baseball season, she also still works for the Rockies, so basically it is like she is working two jobs.

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Their dog is like their child...and they only have time for him with work.

Jenny’s favorite sport is football, so the position as Altitude Sports “Is a dream job for me get to work with athletes that I grew up idolizing on a weekly basis”.

Her love of sports came from her Dad, and they had a "sports bond" ever since she was  three years old.  She may not have played, but she was always involved, and even managed soccer and basketball teams in high school.

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Jenny and her Mom and Dad upon winning Crown

My family is my foundation, and we are very close.

Eric (42) moved around a lot, doing different things after high school. It was a culinary job that moved him from Vegas to Denver, where he stayed and met Jenny (33).

So, we all want to know the Engagement story, right?

Since they both love country music, Eric had planned to propose the minute a certain verse   came on at a Brad Paisley concert. They went to concert back in February 2015, but Brad didn’t sing the song! It wasn’t perfect, and so Eric held off.  Then, when they saw him this past September, Eric said “This time I gotta do it during concert” as planned, but this time Brad condensed the song and cut out the lyric. But he knelt and made the proposal anyway.  He had the ring the whole time, and not a soul knew about it.  "He was actually getting a hard time from friends and family for taking so long!" said Jenny.

Jenny says some of the activities that strengthen their relationship and bond include:

  • Sports events,
  • Travel locally or around the states,
  • And time with family and friends.

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After they began dating, she was in school and he was in Denver. Then, after she graduated from college and she became Ms. Wheelchair Colorado, she slowed it down. She was travelling, speaking, and doing internships. He was very independent as well, and wanted to take things slow, but in the end it was Eric who said he loved her first.

Maintaining a Healthy and Active Lifestyle

With all this travel and work activity, how does Jenny maintain her health? "Seating cushions have been critical", and she has had no problems with skin sores. That was until the spinal fusion she had as a child was removed.  Her first time having a wound was in the hospital on her coccyx, or tailbone area. She was in the hospital to get hardware removed in 2007, as it was starting to protrude through her skin.

But “eating the right food, doing weight shifts, and having the right equipment, is what the difference is for me. I am in the chair from seven in the morning, to eleven to twelve at night.” She has a tilting system on her wheelchair, and has to move around a lot. She is conscious of maintaining weight shifts. She also wears ted hose for some compression and increased circulation for her legs, and drinks a lot of water daily.

Nutrition tips: Organic, all natural foods. She is aware of what she puts in her body, kind bars throughout the day, along with fruit, nuts, and a protein shake in the morning. Not heavy meals. Balanced meal at dinner.

Production Reel that is a sample of Jenny's TV work.

Ultimate big picture goal?  “I want to be a travelling professional speaker.”

She is currently working on her Platform and website, which is being built.  Her message is: "No Matter the challenges that come your way... I want you get past the obstacles. It will make you stronger. Not just for those with disabilities, but for all people. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it"

As Jenny does not have normal use of her hands or strength, we asked what accommodations she required on the job. “None really. I use a normal computer, my editing system is the same, and nothing is adaptive. At home, I do have automated door openers and a modified van.

In 2011 her van equipment failed, and a car accident broke her back. There was another accident in May of this year when she was driving home. A man took the turn when she had the light and totaled her van. So she is now getting her third van in Vocational Rehabilitation.  She also had to get another spinal fusion at t-10.

When is the Wedding Day?

July 25th 2016. The wedding will be at an Old Victorian home with mountains outside and foothills in the back ground. They will have an outdoor wedding with a reception indoors.  The dress is picked out, and her six bridesmaids have theirs as well.   The dress has long bead work, a sweetheart neck and train, and bead work on side with a side bustle that will unbustle for ceremony and photos.

We look forward to the wedding photos by photographer EJ Dilley! Congratulations to Jenny and Eric on a love built on mutual respect, friendship, independence, and shared interest.

#LoveRollsOn

 

Deborah Davis

Deborah is a Speaker, Disability Inclusion Consultant, Entrepreneur, Writer and Business Owner of Wheelchair Lifestyle Enterprise Push Living Inc.

She was a Former Dancer, Accident Survivor (C 6-7 Spinal Cord Injury resulting in incomplete Quadriplegia 1985), College grad (BBA Finance 1991 U of Miami), with a background in Sales and Marketing and Non Profit Development and Management.

She is now embarked on new path creating a market for Disability Inclusive Stock Images with the creation of PUSHlivingPhotos.com and publishing an online enterprise: PushLiving.com. The mission is to create Inclusion for people with disabilities through stock images for advertising, marketing and editorial uses, providing accessible properties for travel, swap or purchase, publishing an online magazine for improved health and well-being, providing information and opportunities for Accessible Travel, and operating an online store with products that improve lives.

She is most passionate about building a network of people with disabilities who are empowering, supporting and creating a more inclusive world. Personally, she is a mother of two beautiful, wise and exceptionally bright young women, and residing in South Florida.

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