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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

A woman with a rare genetic disease asks herself: “Who will love me?”

McKinnon Galloway and Brandon Kwiatek share a unique love story and his perfect proposal. Galloway has a long history of trauma: deafness, brain surgery and more due to his chronic illness.

She was only 16 in high school when a volleyball game she participated in completely turned her life upside down. Galloway was hit in the head by a bullet and developed concussion symptoms, so she was taken to the emergency room for a routine MRI. Doctors discovered two tumors in his brain, revealing a rare genetic condition called NF2.

Her mother Tracy started googling and found there was no cure for the disease, which affects around one in 25,000 people worldwide. The disease is characterized by benign tumors in the brain and elsewhere that damage nerves and primarily affect hearing and balance. Doctors said her daughter may have become deaf before she graduated from high school.

,The disease can cause deafness, blindness, inability to swallow, affect the ability to walk, balance problems and more. Tumors can appear on any nerve in the body, anywhere in the body. And some have thousands. I was devastated.”

Photo: screenshot

What will the future look like?

Illness caused Galloway to think about his future. “I am a chronic disease, who will love me? “My life is so complicated.”

After graduating from high school, where Galloway still retained her hearing, she attended college where she met Brandon Kwiatek. After two years of dating, he asked her out on a date, then aware of her illness, and he says she impressed him on the first date.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Galloway’s hearing began to deteriorate and she returned to her mother to spend time with her before losing her hearing. Meanwhile, Kwiatek asked Tracy for his daughter’s hand in marriage, and Tracy gave him the wedding ring of her late husband, Galloway’s father.

The couple told their story in an interview with

Photo: screenshot

A proposal in Las Vegas

In December 2021, the mothers traveled to Finland and Russia, where Galloway woke up one morning deaf. The brain tumor also left her partially paralyzed in the face, in addition to visual disturbances. She underwent two brain operations last year.

During the recovery process, Kwiatek decided to pray to his beloved. During their trip to Las Vegas on January 1 this year, he spread rose petals on their bedroom floor and made a heart out of them.

“We went through so much last year and we really wanted to start the new year on a really positive note.” When I walked into the room and felt the rose petals under my toes, I smiled. Brandon is a good man and always surprises me. When I looked up he was on one knee and he had this wooden rose sheet that said, “Will you marry me?” That was perfect, I said yes before he even said show me the ring.”

Photo: screenshot

The couple have yet to set a date for the big day. They would like to have children in the future, but Galloway’s doctor told her there was a 50% chance her children would develop the disease. “We want to have children, but there are many ways to have them, there are many children who need a home.”

“We have an amazing life together and I’m really, really excited for what the future holds,” Kwiatek said.

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