RICHMOND, Va. -- A fateful jump into the James River cost Hanover native Cole Sydnor the use of his arms and legs. In August 2011, the then 15-year-old Atlee High School athlete dove into the river and hit his head on a rock. The impact shattered Cole’s vertebrae rendering him quadriplegic.
"You can be pissed off about it and let it consume you," Sydnor, whose been in a wheelchair for nearly eight years now, said. "Or you can just say 'alright, this is it. Let's just roll with it.' Have a good time and try to be joyful."
That positive attitude went on to play a large role in Cole's recover and new life.
"I really love that he's super supportive and super positive," Charisma Jamison said. "And his blue eyes. I love them too."
Cole and Charisma first crossed paths at Sheltering Arms Physical Rehabilitation where Cole was undergoing rehab. Charisma was a Rehabilitation Technician.
"I saw this beautiful girl walking around Sheltering Arms," Cole recalled with a smile.
“He slid in my DMs,” Charisma told The Washington Post.
Direct messages turned into direct conversations.
From there, love was born.
"If I ever lost Charisma, I don't know what I'd do," Cole said. "She's shown me what love is like."
"Because he loves me so much, he's made me realize how valuable of a person I am," Charisma added.
They now spend their time not only focused on each other, but also educating others about their interabled relationship.
They started a YouTube channel, "Roll with Cole & Charisma," with the goal of breaking down misconceptions that can surround interabled relationships.
"Dating someone in a wheelchair is not that much different," he said. "We're just two people in love."
A lesson the couple's 80,000 YouTube subscribers learn whenever Cole and Charisma upload a new video.
"No matter what you're going through in life, love is out there," Charisma said.