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Seniors Marry At Chula Vista Medical Center Where They First Met

Photo caption:

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Ronald Barker, 73, and Maria Chavarria, 64, celebrate their wedding ceremony at St. Paul's PACE in Chula Vista, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015.

Two seniors with significant medical issues proved Friday it's never too late to find love.

Ronald Barker, 73, and Maria Chavarria, 64, got married after meeting at St. Paul's PACE in Chula Vista, a medical program for low-income seniors. They held their wedding in the place where they met.

Nine months ago, Barker was physically wasting away and couldn't walk because of severe arthritis in his hips.

"I was at the point I just wanted to give up on life and somebody had mentioned PACE and so I called," he said. "They began to work with me with all kinds of physical therapies and with doctors and I had been in that wheelchair for eight months and finally got out."

Then Barker met Chavarria, who also felt alone after losing her mother to cancer in 2013.

Chavarria said she was moved by the way Barker reached out to help other seniors. She has never been married, but remembered that her mother had always told her, "somebody is waiting for you."

When she laid eyes on Barker, she said, "Lord, this man is for me."

The wedding is also a first for St. Paul's PACE. Staffers bought the gown and donated Barker's suit and pretty much everything else.

Katrina Soto, a supervisor at PACE, said the couple has become pretty popular.

"At first I thought it was oh, it's just like a little romance, best friends," she said.


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