'They Were Told They'd Never Last!' Couple With Down Syndrome Are About To Celebrate Their 24th Anniversary
February 4, 2019 12:51 By Mambee
When Maryanne and Tommy Pilling got married, in February 1995, a lot of people were quite skeptical. The couple, believed to be the first Down's syndrome duo to tie the knots, had dated for about one and a half years before they decided to make it official.
Thankfully, they did not let the naysayers put a damper on their happiness. Not only are they still going strong nearly 24 years later, they are using their story to inspire thousands of people.
The couple has a Facebook page, which was set up by Maryanne's sister, Lindi Newman. The page offers fans regular updates about the couple and how far they have come.
Recalling the day her sister and Tommy met, Lindi said Maryanne "came home with the biggest smile on her face." The smitten lady just could not stop talking about Tommy.
Lindi said that after the couple had been together for 18 months, Tommy approached their mother to ask if he had her permission to propose to Maryanne.
At the time, the besotted young man only had a toy ring from a vending machine to offer.
The mum was so thrilled about her daughter finding such a good man that she was determined that they did things properly and that included taking Tommy to a jewelry shop so he could get a proper ring for his girl.
Of course, having Down's Syndrome meant their physical deformity did not go unnoticed. When they walked hand in hand, many people would stop and stare. There were those who even criticised Maryanne's mother for allowing the couple to get married, but the family held on to what they believed in.
Even amidst the negativity and judgment, there were those who were inspired by the couple's story. Some people who have kids, grandkids or relatives with Down's Syndrome often worry about whether they will grow up and find love like normal people.
Maryanne and Tommy's story was a message of hope to those people. The happiness the couple shared buoyed their spirits and affirmed their belief that a Down's Syndrome diagnosis does not have to be the end of the world.
On what married life has been like, Maryanne told Dailymail:
"Tommy and I never argue. I love my husband very much. He is my best friend."
Truly, the message of acceptance and love that this couple is sharing is one that everybody can learn from. They knew in their hearts what was true and now they are reaping the benefits.