ST. PETERSBURG — It was late summer or early fall in 2003 when Akeen and Dominique Burney officially crossed paths. At the time, they were both in other relationships with people they believed did not value them. The need to be loved and the emptiness of longing left a void in each of their hearts.
Both of their significant others left the relationship about the same time. Around the spring of the following year, they locked eyes. That fall day in September, the date is still a topic of intense discussion, they began their journey together and about 90 days later they were wed in a backyard ceremony.
“Everyone said it was impossible. They said it wouldn’t last. And even today, the world’s outlook on our relationship with the trials it has experienced have most believing the train will end at some point,” said Dominique. “I assure you, the tests we have endured are a testament to the validity and strength of our marriage, a never-ending love story indeed.”
The day after Christmas 2003, Akeen and Dominique became one. Who would have thought two different people from opposite backgrounds could compromise their hearts enough to truly love another person past their faults and in a matter of three months? With no fear, the Burneys did it.
However, contrary to the vision that Disney portrays of love, it does have its dark moments or rather what the untrained soul will conclude as such. Due to individual issues not previously conquered and communication problems, the Burneys experienced what they conclude as the greatest thing for their marriage, they separated.
In 2012, after the passing of their third son, LJ, the two found it was difficult to cope. The stress led to what seemed like an impossible situation. For three or four months they co-parented in separate homes.
They were both in other relationships, but their hearts knew the way home. Once they had time to clear their minds and deal with their individual trials, they found each other again. This time, they were stronger, deeper in love and their faith immersed in God.
In 2014, their happiness and peace would once again meet another test, but this time a more difficult challenge. A chance visit to the emergency room revealed that Dominique had only five percent kidney function. She was literally dying. She began dialysis right away. Many surgeries and extended hospital stays would follow.
“As I got weaker, Akeen stood up taking care of the entire household on top of his manly duties. When we began talks about a transplant, it was at that time I realized a newfound love for him,” said Dominique. “My husband without hesitation offered his kidney.”
The two of them had their blood tested and wouldn’t you know it, Akeen is blood type O and Dominique is AB, which means he’s a universal giver and she a universal receiver. They are currently still in the testing phase to have the transplant approved.
With love and compromise, the couple has had the opportunity to show each other Godly love through adversity as they arrived at a place of ultimate unconditional love. Their relationship is a beacon of light for others to see.
Well, the bible story says Adam gave a rib to Eve, so it’s only fitting for Akeen to give his wife a kidney. Their never-ending love story will continue.