LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Alex Barker is a married man and couldn’t be more excited. But you’ll never know from looking at his wedding photos.
“Getting married is supposed to be one of the happiest days of our lives,” Alex said. “But we're going to look really, really expressionless and that's not the vibes that we want to give over.”
Alex is from Coventry, England, and his new bride, Erin, is from Lexington. They met through a group of Facebook dedicated to the condition they share, which is called, Moebius syndrome, a rare, genetic condition in which, “None of the cranial nerve actually works in the face,” Alex explained. “There are cranial nerves that control eye movement, there are cranial nerves that control facial expression. So when your friend is saying smile, the nerve connection just isn't there.”
Both Alex and Erin run across people on a daily basis who don’t understand what’s going on with them.
“To this day, people stare. It's like, 'What is wrong with her?'” Erin said. “And when it comes to children it doesn't bother me. Parents will come to me and say, 'Oh, I'm sorry,' and I will say, 'That's OK.' I don't mind stopping and explaining what my situation is because I think that's another way we can spread the word about it as well.”
For Alex, the challenges started at birth, back in the UK.
“The doctors actually said to my mum, ‘Do you want to take your child home?’ Inferring, well, you know, you might not want to take your child home, you might want to put him up for adoption and my parents - my mum - thought I was the most beautiful baby she has seen and she still thinks like that now.”
Erin doesn’t think he’s so bad either. They got married in November and plan to spend at least the first few years of their marriage in Coventry.
“We've talked about this several times. We actually said, 'When are we going to wake up from this amazing dream?' I mean because it was like crazy,” Erin said.
See what Erin did to win Alex over on their first face-to-face meeting in this edition of the Buckley Report.