Maryanne and Tommy Pilling, a couple from England, just celebrated their 22 years of marriage. But Maryanne and Tommy are not like normal couples. They were both born with Down Syndrome. The couple, who were believed to be the first Down Syndrome couple, were heavily criticized when they first got married.
People stared at them when they were out and about but that didn’t stop them to love each other. They had dated about 18-months when Tommy asked Maryanne’s mom if he could wed her daughter. She was very pleased. He had a toy ring from a vending machine and Maryanne’s mom brought him to a jewelry store to buy a real ring. She wanted him to do it properly.
Her mom, too, received a lot of criticism for letting them get married. But she insisted it was their decision.
Maryanne and Tommy got married in July 1995, in a church ceremony surrounded by friends and family members. When asked how they could stay together for so long, Maryanne’s sister says “They love one another dearly, respect one another and are completely honest.”
Love and honesty is truly the backbone of a good marriage. Maryanne and Tommy do just that. Unlike normal couples who are being dishonest behind their spouse’s back.
Maryanne got her wish. She had dreamed about having a big wedding and that was exactly what she got. It was a beautiful day for every one involved.
They Have A Lot Of Fans
Maryanne’s sister, Lindi, set up a Facebook page to document the couple’s love story and it has collected 14,000 fans at the time of this writing.
Lindi tells a reporter the day Maryanne met Tommy at a local day center, she couldn’t stop talking about him. She kept asking if he could come over for dinner.
Their love is unlike any other. Maryanne tells a reporter she and Tommy never argues. “I love my husband very much. He is my best friend,” she adds.
Maryanne and Tommy have a disability. A disability that they have before birth. Down Syndrome happens when a child develops an extra chromosome. A normal child has 46 chromosomes and a child with Down Syndrome has 47. This extra chromosome will alter the development of brain and body.
They have some degree of intellectual disability, although the degree varies from person to person. Down Syndrome is a lifelong condition, however, with love and support from family and friends, children with Down Syndrome could grow up to be a healthy, happy, productive citizen.
According to WebMD, you have a higher risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome if:
- You are older when you get pregnant. Many doctors believe the risk increases for women over 35
- You have a family member (brother or sister) who has Down Syndrome
- You have another baby with Down Syndrome
Maryanne and Tommy somehow manage to beat the odds and keep their love going for all these years. The most important thing is they are much happier than most normal couples that despise them.
They live independently in their own home with family members just several houses down.
Their story is truly inspirational, not just for family with a Down Syndrome child, but also for every one who believes in love.