Local immigrant couple, a story of love and perseverance

Image 1 of 10

An immigrant couple living in Kennesaw had their longtime wish granted.

After 50 years, Fabio and Milva revisited the city where they met, married, started a family and ultimately realized their dreams as American citizens; New York.

Fabio, 83, was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to New York City in 1953. Milva, Fabio’s wife, grew up on a farm in Camaguey, Cuba, and moved to New York when she was 18 years old, in 1952. 

As non-English speakers in a new country, Fabio and Milva faced many challenges in their early adulthood. By 1955, both Fabio and Milva had found jobs in the clothing industry in New York City. The two of them would often cross paths, as Milva’s sister worked at the same fur coat factory as Fabio. After many months, Fabio built up the courage to approach her, and the two of them started dating. Shortly afterward, Fabio got a letter from the government saying that he had been drafted into the US Army. Knowing that Fabio would soon have to report to duty, the two of them quickly got married. Fabio served in the army for three years at a base in Louisiana, then returned to New York where the two of them began their married life and had children. 

Eventually, Fabio and his family relocated to Georgia, where they currently reside and the two of them celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2015. 

In May, Wish of a Lifetime sent Fabio, Milva, and their daughters to New York City for the first time in 50 years. Their first stop was the International House, where Fabio spent his first night in the United States in 1953. Fabio and Milva reminisced and celebrated as they visited the Rockefeller Center, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Grand Central Station, and the first apartment they lived in together.

Towards the end of the trip, Fabio said, “The New York experience would not be complete without a subway ride!”