Friday, February 24

Couple with Down's syndrome celebrate 22 years of wedded bliss (photos)

A couple with Down's Syndrome has gone viral after photos of them celebrating 22 years of a happy marriage emerged on the internet.

Maryanne and Tommy Pilling, believed to be the first Down's syndrome couple to ever tie the knot,  got married in 1995. But were heavily criticised by people who believed those living with Down's Syndrome and learning difficulties can't get married.

According to DailyMail, Maryanne's sister, Lindi Newman, who opened a Facebook page that follows the couple's romance, said the pair had dated for around 18 months before Tommy popped
the question and the couple went on to marry at St Mary's Church in Shoeburyness, Essex, in July 1995.

Lindi said:
 'The day Maryanne met Tommy she came home with the biggest smile on her face. She couldn't stop talking about him and asked if he could come for dinner. 
They dated for about 18 months and then he approached my mum, Linda, to ask if he could propose. He had a toy ring from a vending machine. 

My mum immediately said yes but wanted them to do it properly so took him to a jewellery shop to buy a proper ring. 
She received a lot of flak at the time for letting them get married but she insisted it was their decision.
'Maryanne had dreamed about a big white wedding since she was a little girl and that's exactly what she had. It was a beautiful day.
Now, 22 years later, Maryanne now 45 years old and Tommy, 59 have proved doubters wrong and are still going strong.

'When they walk down the street holding hands they make a statement but in a good way. Some people stare. But we also get so many lovely lovely messages from people who are inspired by their story. 
People worried about their own children or grandchildren with Down's Syndrome get hope from Maryanne and Tommy's story. Hope that their children can also fall in love and live happily ever after.'
Maryanne added:
 'My wedding was the best day of my life. I was shocked when Tommy proposed but I didn't have to think twice about saying yes.
'Tommy and I never argue. I love my husband very much. He is my best friend.'
The happy couple live independently, with family next door to help out when needed.

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