Couple With Down Syndrome Celebrate Their 22nd Wedding Anniversary
Jay Dawson August 4th 2017 Inspiration
Sometimes, a story comes along that is so touching and so beautiful, you can't help but smile. This is that kind of story. Yes, it's a simple love story, and yes, in for any other couple, it really wouldn't be that special. But the couple at the center of this fairytale aren't like other couples. They've faced skeptics and doubters from every side, and they've still come out on top, in love with each other like never before. This story will make you believe in miracles again...
Against All Odds
What is it about Maryanne and Tommy Pilling that make them so wonderful and so unique compared to other married couples? Well, they've both got Down Syndrome, for starters. Both born with the genetic disorder, they met each other in Essex way back in 1993. Maryanne was 20 at the time and Tommy 34, and despite the inherent dating difficulties that sufferers face, they quickly fell in love.
Fast forward 18 months and Tommy took the plunge, asking Maryanne's mother whether he could ask for her daughter's hand in marriage. Maryanne's mom didn't even hesitate, saying yes straight away to this perfect gentleman and even taking him out ring shopping. When they were married in 1995 in a church in Essex, they were the first ever couple with Down Syndrome to tie the knot in the U.K. Sadly, many people around them and many members of the public told them it could never last. That somehow, they weren't allowed to share their love.
About Down Syndrome
A lot of the negativity surrounding the marriage back in 1995 was due to the public's complete lack of knowledge about what sufferers of Down Syndrome really face. This ignorance led to fear and made Tommy and Maryanne's first few months incredibly difficult. But we hardly need to remind you that Down Syndrome sufferers are just as much people as we all are, and as much deserving of, and capable of, the kind of love that touches us so infrequently.
While it does occur in almost 1 in 1000 newborns, Down Syndrome seems to strike almost at random. There seem to be no environmental or behavioral factors during pregnancy that will cause it, and parents of Down Syndrome children usually have perfectly healthy genetic makeups. The severity of Down Syndrome is highly variable, too. Facial deformity and level of intellectual disability can range from very mild up to moderate, meaning that many sufferers, with the right education and support, can lead close to normal adult lives.
Twenty-Two Years Of Bliss
Guess what? After 22 years of marriage, after so much doubt, this beautiful couple is still together. Two years ago they renewed their vows for their twentieth wedding anniversary, and they say that they are still madly in love. "Tommy and I never argue. I love my husband very much. He is my best friend," Maryanne told reporters. Normal adult lives would probably involve a horrible divorce and a custody battle, not decades of bliss, so this cute pair have led even-better-than-normal adult lives.
And through their wonderful romance, they've inspired so many others. Maryanne's sister, Lindi Newman, chronicles their fairytale on a Facebook page which has attracted thousands of followers and well-wishers from across the world. Not only that, their story has given hope to the other sufferers and parents of sufferers who just want the best for themselves and their children. Looking at Tommy and Maryanne, they've discovered that true love is possible no matter how much the odds are stacked against you.