Phoenix couple with disabilities finds love through work at Harkins theater

Two find love while working at Harkins Theater

PHOENIX - Their story has all the makings of a Hollywood movie, so it’s only fitting that a west Phoenix theater was where they met.

"I was a ticket taker," said Susan Lent. 

Lent began working at Harkins Theatres in Christown Mall in 2013.

"I noticed they had people in wheelchairs at the door and I walk with a walker so I figured it was a good place for me," she said. 

Lent has cerebral palsy and works part-time.

As a company, Harkins Theatres is known for its efforts in hiring people with disabilities. 

As a ticket Taker Lent could sit in her chair greeting folks as they came into the lobby. It’s the same place Bruce Mann carries out his cleaning duties.

"I started talking to her in between movies and I just started liking her a lot," Mann said. 

"I could tell he was really funny and really sensitive," Lent told 12 News. 

When asked if he knew he was funny and sensitive Mann chuckled as he said, "Yeah, oh yeah." 

The two had a lot in common, including a life overcoming challenges. As an infant, Mann contracted meningitis, leaving him with brain damage.

Both say they know what it’s like to feel different.

"It's very lonely," Lent said. 

"And it was lonely for me," Mann told 12 News.

That would soon change. A few months after meeting, Bruce told his family about a secret crush.

"I just couldn't stop talking about her," Mann said. 

"He said there's somebody at work I really, really like, what should I do,'" said Joseph Benesh, Mann's brother. "So I told him, 'Just be yourself -- you're an amazing person.'"

Fast forward two years -- the couple is now two months away from getting married.

"He's my hero because he just takes care of me and he's so sweet," said Lent, who has since left Harkins due to her cerebral palsy worsening.

And they’ve already got a Hollywood dream honeymoon.

"Disneyland!" the couple said together with a laugh.

Benesh is now fundraising to help them get there.

"When love like this can surface out of all the hardships they've been through their entire lives, I like to think that gives everybody hope," he said. 

Any advice they’d offer someone feeling unlucky in love?

Lent said "to never give up and always be yourself." 

"They'll eventually find the one," Mann replied.

Click here to check out the GoFundMe page that Benesh set up for Lent and Mann.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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