On Love and Lupus: Why This Couple Vowed to Stay Together in Sickness and in Health

Do you believe that love, if it’s meant for you, will find you at the right time? This statement holds true both for Mari and Cleo who found each other even through the most impossible of circumstances. You see, Cleo was diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis when she was 16 years old and it completely and dramatically changed her life. She confined herself in her room for five years because the doctors said that sun exposure was the trigger to her condition. She felt so helpless and hopeless, and just as she thought that her condition couldn’t get worse, in 2013, she was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Failure which meant she had to undergo dialysis for the rest of her life. She was 22 then. “My self-esteem hit rock bottom as my disease slowly took over my life. I had to live through months where I couldn't sit, lift my arm, or even stand for a few seconds. I couldn't even feed myself or hold my own glass of water. I couldn't do anything on my own and had to be assisted with everything.“ Cleo, Bride

As she battled for her life day after day, Cleo already accepted the fact that she would grow old single and with her mom by her side. She thought that was how good things were going to get for her. But clearly, the biggest plot twist of her life was just waiting for the right time to happen. "Mari is my answered prayer." Cleo, Bride

Mari and Cleo met through a dating app which was the only way possible for them to really meet because of Cleo’s condition. They started chatting and eventually got to know each other better. "It was only our second date when Cleo told me about her situation. I’d be lying if I told you that it didn’t bother me at all. It did. But not as much for me to stop pursuing her. I love everything about her. She's literally everything I had prayed for."- Mari, Groom

"Mari always treated me like I wasn't sick. He hated the idea that I identified myself as a sick person. He treats me like a normal, healthy person but at the same time, he makes sure that he isn't being oblivious to my restrictions and my needs. He was always very careful with me." Cleo, Bride

"Before I proposed to Cleo, I had the ring with me for more than a year already. I was actually talking to this place in Tagaytay. I wanted to propose under the stars since Cleo loved the stars. I wanted a nice set up with our song playing on the background. But things did not turn out the way I wanted it to." Mari, Groom

"Mari proposed at a time when I had a very bad episode last 2018. Everything felt like I was back to square one, fighting for my life again. I was very weak and very scared. It was one of those nights where I chose not to sleep because of the fear of not waking up." Cleo, Bride

"He started to play our song and I thought it was just another sweet way to make me feel better. But I was absolutely mistaken. He took my hand and said, “I’m going to tell you something but I hope you don’t get mad.” I nervously said “What babe? I don’t need this right now.” Cleo, Bride

"I got the ring, played our song (Resolution by Matt Corby) in my cellphone, and told her, 'I’ve seen you at your best and I’ve seen you at your worst, and that whatever happens, I want you to know that I will always love you.' I pulled out the ring and asked her to marry me." Mari, Groom

Not once did he ever make me feel that I was limiting his life. He embraced and accepted all my weaknesses and limitations, and gladly and whole-heartedly chose to go through it with me. That alone is such an incredible and rare thing. And up to this day, that everyday, makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world." Cleo, Bride"

"Everyday, I'm still in awe with how Cleo is towards Jesus. I try to be like her. I want to be like her. I want to have the faith and the confidence she has with Jesus. Those are the real reasons that made me fall in love with Cleo so much." Mari, Groom

"Love still is and will always be the most powerful and the most beautiful thing. It conquers all. It truly does. And I am blessed to have been brought up in a family who made me understand the kind of love that is selfless and sacrificial. The kind of love that goes beyond emotions and feelings. This is the kind of love I've been blessed enough to have grown into, received, and understand. And now that I'm married, I, in turn, out of my overflow, will pour it all out in my marriage with Mari. Whatever it takes for as long as I live." Cleo, Bride

Mari and Cleo {you are my resolution} from Notion in Motion on Vimeo.

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Photographer: Gunita Studios / Videographer: Notion In Motion / Venue: Los Arboles Tagaytay / Catering: K By Cunanan / Cocktails: Passion Cooks / Event stylist, flowers, and bouquet: Petal Swing Event Styling / Bride’s Dress: Patricia Pascual Designs / Bride’s Shoes: Gerome Sta. Maria Shoes / Invitations and Favors: DIY by Bride / Bridesmaid Dresses: Lolinda Dumangon / Bridesmaid Accessories: Samara Earrings / Groom's and Best man's Attire: Felipe & Sons Haberdashery / Groom's Shoes: Sapatero Manila / Male Entourage Neckties: Kurbata Co. / Makeup Artist: Carissa Cielo Medved / Cake Baker: Hani Bee Cakes / Calligraphy: Lai Geluz / Bride’s Jewelry: Christopher Munar / Band: Libante Strings / Host: Darlene Tan-Salazar / Lights and Sounds: Artuz 101 / Rental Furniture: Windsor & Tiffany / Tent Rental: Tent King / Carpet Rental: Glam Lane Events / Acrylic Ring and Coin Box: Acrila Acrylics / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Events Simplified by Karmie
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