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Relationships are tough. Marriage is tough. And if you’re a person with special needs, there is a certain stigma out there that it will be hard for you to have a relationship and get married.
But a couple named Maryanne and Tommy have thumbed their nose at the odds and the naysayers and have been happily married since 1995.
That’s 24 years. I’d call that a pretty successful run, wouldn’t you?
Maryanne and Tommy Pilling are the first couple with Down Syndrome to be married in the United Kingdom and so far, they’ve been married for more than two decades. When they tied the knot, their marriage was viewed with skepticism by many people who thought the relationship wouldn’t last.
The couple met in 1990 while working at a training center for people with disabilities. Maryanne and Tommy both enjoyed cooking and their time working in the kitchen together brought them close together. They began dating and Tommy proposed to Maryanne after they had been dating for 18 months.
Despite some criticism, the couple married in 1995 in front of 250 of their closest family and friends and have remained devoted to each other ever since. Maryanne said, “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.”
Sadly, in recent years, Tommy Pilling has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and is suffering from dementia. But that’s typical for people with Down Syndrome.
Still, this is a love story for the books, no one can argue with that.