Couple with down syndrome proves naysayers wrong and celebrates 22 years of marriage

"They make a statement but in a good way."
November 3, 2017 2:06 pm, Last Updated: November 5, 2017 11:04 am

Maryanne and Tommy Pilling’s relationship has been thriving for more than two decades, even though outsiders expressed lots of doubts about their love in the beginning.

After dating for nearly two years, Tommy popped the question to Maryanne in 1995. His love for Maryanne was more important than any amount of cash. He did not have enough money to afford a ring, so he asked for her hand in marriage with a toy ring from a vending machine.

Maryanne said that her wedding day was the best day of her life, according to

“I was shocked when Tommy proposed, but I didn’t have to think twice about saying yes,” said Maryanne.

(Facebook/Maryanne and Tommy)

Maryanne’s sister, Lindi Newman said her mother received a lot of “flak” at the time for allowing them to get married.

“Some people stare, they assume people with Down syndrome and learning difficulties can’t get married,” Newman said.

Fortunately, the married couple’s love was stronger than any amount of doubt. Their love is special and ongoing.

“When they walk down the street holding hands, they make a statement but in a good way,” said Newman.

(Facebook/ Maryanne and Tommy)

Newman set up a Facebook page for her sister and brother-in-law, and their love story has earned them thousands of fans all over the world.

She explained that despite the negative thoughts people have had, the couple receive “so many lovely messages from people who are inspired by their story.”

“People worried about their own children or grandchildren with Down syndrome get hope from Maryanne and Tommy’s story. I hope that their children can also fall in love and live happily ever after.”

Maryanne and Tommy are now the poster children for finding true love.

“Tommy and I never argue. I love my husband very much. He is my best friend,” said Maryanne.

(Facebook/Maryanne and Tommy)