Local Woman with Incurable Disease Finds True Love

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DALLAS -- Tye Baudin is busy working as an EMT in DeSoto, and on his time off, helping out his church. He's so darn busy there really wasn't time to find his true love.

"With the fire department, I'm around guys for 24 hours. And then my church, it was young couples. There really weren't any singles there," Baudin explained.

This man of faith did what many singles do -- find a date online, "I actually went on Christian Mingle."

He was surprised to find an immediate connection.

"She was actually the first girl I met on there," said Baudin. "We messaged back and forth online. I was like, 'Man, I'm kinda ready to meet her.'"

Last October, Tye met Emily Penn for the first time in a coffee shop here they talked for four hours.

"She's the full package. She's gorgeous. She's funny. She loves Jesus," Baudin said.

Tye felt an immediate connection, but not Emily.

"At first I was really skeptical," she said.

That's because Emily was diagnosed at 15 with Friedreich's Ataxia, which causes progressive damage to the nervous system and has no known cure.  None.

"It affects all muscle coordination from the toes to the fingertips," Penn explained.

It can zap her energy, confining her to a wheelchair.

Completely open about her condition online, it didn't stop Tye from wanting to meet her.

"It was actually only about two months that I figured, 'Man, I love this girl.' I communicated that to her. and at first. I think she appreciated that. I think it was a couple weeks later that she was like, 'You know, I love you too,'" Baudin said laughing.

"After a bike ride, he just swept me off my feet," Penn said laughing too.

It's easy to see that these two are in love.

Tye couldn't wait anymore, so in March, he proposed to Emily and of course she said yes. They plan on getting married in December.

So, now Emily has a partner in crime to fight her disease, which affects 1 out of 50,000 folks in the U.S.

Tye helps Emily workout so she can continue to bike up to 50 miles (yes, she's done 50 miles) in Ride Ataxia, which raises money to find a cure for her disease.

Emily also started an experimental treatment in Philadelphia.

"It's supposed to improve your energy," Penn said.

For better or worse, they're in this together. In fact, they want to have kids. Tye is waiting on a genetic test to see if he has the gene for Friedreich's Ataxia.  If he does, their child has a 50% chance of getting the disease. If not, there is none.

Oh, even if he does have it, they're still going to leave it in their Savior's hands and try.

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