After meeting just 40 years ago, Joan Neininger and Ken Selway are finally getting married, but their story hasn’t been all hearts and roses.

They couple first met when she had seen him rummaging through discarded fish and chip wrappers to look for something to eat before going to bed in a derelict house.

Ken had been forced to leave his former home, after his mother couldn’t handle his mental illness. Ken had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and had to live on the streets, sleeping in railway stations and doorways.

Over the next few years, Ken had come in and out of Joan’s and her families life, but him doing so disturbed Joan’s 30-year marriage.

Norman, Joan’s husband, had given her an ultimatum, she bought a caravan and moved in. It wasn’t too long after that Ken came to stay with her.

Ken’s mental health caused him to be unpredictable, and Joan had to be careful with everything she said, because he could just lash out at the wrong thing.

He finally went and was able to be put on medication, which made him so much better. Joan also learned that Ken had the need to feel safe at all times, and he is very easily threatened, and can become over emotional when it came to intimacy,.

For several decades, Joan, Ken and Norman all lived together, and they worked with volunteers at charities , and helped homeless people in the county by giving out food.

Norman had a fatal heart attack, and it wasn’t too long after until Ken began to have some major health issues as well. He then moved into Hanover Court in Cinderford, and Joan went to live with her eldest daughter.

Joan and Ken at her sister’s wedding…

But that arrangement didn’t work out well for Joan, and some care staff moved Joan into Ken’s flat with him. And after that, Joan proposed.

Now everyone is excited for their wedding on February 18th, which is also Joan’s birthday. Even the staff cannot wait, as everyone there is like family.

Source: nytimes.com

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