An interabled couple who document their everyday relationship in popular videos with over 37 million views shared some exciting news on Saturday — they're engaged!
Shane Burcaw and Hannah Aylward have been sharing intimate videos about their lives together for a year on their Squirmy and Grubs YouTube page. Burcaw, who has spinal muscular atrophy and can't walk or use his arms, and Aylward, who is able-bodied and a swimmer, wanted to show just how ordinary and normal their relationship is: from date nights to morning routines, and Aylward blowing Burcaw's nose to her helping him go to the bathroom.
The two love birds first met online about three years ago. After dating long distance, they moved in together in Minneapolis while Aylward finished college.
And it was when Aylward finally got her degree that Burcaw decided to take the next step.
She graduated from Carleton College on Saturday, and during a family party at the couple's home, Burcaw popped the question.
What Made Me Smile This Week: Sunday 6/09: This is going to be quite a week. Today, I asked Hannah’s parents for their blessing to marry their perfect daughter. They gave me a jubilant and emphatic YES. I am smiling. Wow. Wow. Wow. Monday 6/10: With only a few days until my planned proposal (Saturday, after her graduation) I started ring shopping today. Classic Shane, waiting until the last minute. Hannah’s mom and I secretly visited several jewelry stores, and with ridiculously sweaty hands, I began to make one of the biggest decisions of my life. I am smiling. Tuesday 6/11: I found the perfect ring. I am smiling. Wednesday 6/12: Hannah grabbed my phone to Google something, and to my horror, the last page I had open on Safari was “best ring stores in Minneapolis.” I held my breath for the split second that it took for her to open a new tab. WHEWF! She didn’t notice! Hannah’s lack of observation made me smile today. Thursday 6/13: I spent a lot of time reminiscing about our relationship today, trying to come up with the perfect words to ask Hannah to marry me. The three years we’ve been together have been filled with an absurd amount of happiness. Needless to say, I’m smiling. Friday 6/14: OH MY GOD I AM NERVOUS. Saturday 6/15: She said yes. I am smiling. What made you smile this week? (THANK YOU @misslerphotography for taking this photo!)
Naturally, they posted a sweet video of the proposal.
In the middle of the party, Burcaw said, he faked nausea so that Aylward would slip away from the crowd and help him. A nervous Aylward went with him into a bedroom. As she sat on the bed, he asked her to reach behind his back, where a ring box was waiting for her.
"The look of surprise and happiness on her face was so cute," Burcaw said.
After sharing a few kisses and laughs, the newly betrothed opened the bedroom door to the cheers and love of their family members.
"Family is really important to us, and I wanted the family to be a part of the congratulations moment," Burcaw said.
"I was very nervous to come out of the room because I could hear all of them" breathing, Aylward joked.
The party kicked off again after the initial excitement, with one more thing to celebrate along with Aylward's graduation.
"I am the happiest person alive, and I love you," Burcaw told Aylward in the video.
"I love you," she replied with a kiss on the cheek.
The couple spoke to InsideEdition.com in January about their public relationship, which receives largely positive comments from viewers about their quick wits, passionate love and unabashed openness.
However, Aylward said that there are some that aren't as supportive. "People have said really bizarre things about me, that I have mental problems or I'm in it for a bad reason, [that] I couldn't possibly love Shane," she told InsideEdition.com.
Still, Aylward said a lot of people have apologized for being so negative. They write that "after watching more of your videos, I realize that it's not absurd for someone to be in a relationship with a person who has a disability. Thank you for educating me," she said, adding that those comments "are amazing."
Burcaw likes that their YouTube channel can help change the perceptions of interabled relationships and love. "It's cool that people are embracing our relationship and what we stand for," he told InsideEdition.com
Aylward said being with a person in a wheelchair "feels normal to me. We have a great relationship. Shane is an amazing boyfriend."
"Awww," he said with a smile.