Love is the essence of life, our driving force, the miracle we are seeking. True love is the most fulfilling of all secret treasures of life.
A respectful, happy, and lasting marriage is founded on true love, and a commitment to overcome everything, hardship and happiness, good and bad, always together, through thick and thin.
The story of Bill and Glad Forward, who live on the Sunshine Coast of Australia, is an inspiring one, to say the least.
The couple met when they were children, and grew up together. Yet, at the age of sixteen, they fell in love, and their love only grew over time.
Every Saturday afternoon, Bill rode his bike to Glad’s house, and they rode around town. After they got married, they fixed a baby seat onto her bike and took their kids with them on their adventures.
Their marriage was full of love and joy until one day in 2004, when Glad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
As her condition aggravated, her movements became limited. Her husband became her primary caregiver, and he was determined to preserve their cycling tradition.
The lovely man designed a customized bike for her, tricycle hybrid with a special chair attached to the front so she could sit and pedal all around their neighborhood.
The Bike Chair provides a great opportunity for people who have limited mobility wanting to continue to enjoy cycling in the great outdoors. Their neighbors were fascinated to see the couple riding around.
There is even a 3-minute video of the two posted on YouTube, titled “What is Love?”, produced by CVCNOW, that garnered over 2.7 million views.
“With the divorce rate skyrocketing, many people wonder if there is still such a thing as true love. Bill and Glad, a devoted couple married for 50 years, show us what love really is.”
The clip reveals the daily battle of the couple with the advance stages of the disease. Bill says that he does everything for Glad, from the moment she wakes up in the morning, until bedtime.
“I don’t count it a burden whatsoever, I count it a great privilege to care for this one I have loved all these years.”
“She’s my princess and I’m her William and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
The story of these people was been featured in many media outlets, including a feature story on 60 Minutes, and they even have a Facebook page.
By designing the bike, Bill helped his wife reap numerous physical and mental health benefits. The time they spend outside biking boosted her physical strength, improved mood, and bone health, and helped her optimize vitamin D levels.
People with Alzheimer’s find it especially challenging to spend most of their time indoors, and studies have shown that time spent in nature, while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, dramatically boosts their mental health and slows down cognitive decline.
Additionally, depression is very common in people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. It is the most common secondary condition associated with a disability.
Also, people with disabilities are often lonely, prone to conflicts, with low self-esteem and self-confidence. Therefore, a study conducted at Stanford University showed that getting outside could be the best way to boost their mental health.
As soon as the film of the loving couple went viral, Bill said that he got numerous requests for information about where they could buy a chair bike.
Yet, it is unique and was made by a friend. Bill added:
“The insurance company we had pulled the plug on it and we had requests coming from all over Australia and the world but we just couldn’t do it.”