Valentine’s Day, A “special” Love Story

This couple will make you reflect on the true power of love.

Against all predictions, a very special couple, with Down’s Syndrome, They celebrate 22 years of marriage, and that is why they made the news in many journalistic media and the Internet.

30 years ago, as a Psychopedagogue, I worked exclusively assisting children with Down Syndrome for seven years. My responsibility was to work in the academic area, stimulating the cognitive, language and calculation areas; as well as stimulating the basic notions of learning, so that they can then access systematic school learning.

It was an incredible experience; I still remember their names, faces and smiles, because they are like that, “pure love”, which you can never forget. What they lacked in the cognitive area, they had more than enough love, affection, gratitude. An example of unconditional love.

The history

Maryanne and Tommy Pilling have just completed 22 years of marriage, proof of any prognosis, because no one believed in the capacity for love and commitment of this beautiful couple. They met in 1991 at a Day Center for young people with special abilities.

According to the couple, sThey allied for 18 months as boyfriends, until one day he proposed to her, and she did not hesitate to say “yes.” They made headlines throughout England and the world in 1995, when they sealed their love through marriage; the newspapers were full of comments for and against; But thanks to the unconditional support of Maryanne’s mother and sister, this beautiful couple fulfilled their dream of starting a family.

After living for seven years in the mother’s house, the couple moved to live alone, but always being assisted by their family. Lindy newman, Sister of the bride, in a note she expressed ” They are the happiest couple I have ever met, they are always hugging, laughing .”

The woman opened a page on Facebook, where she posts photos and experiences of the couple, and in this way can give hope to other couples with disabilities.

Down’s Syndrome

At the time of conception, each parent contributes23 pairs of chromosomes ,or a total of 46 chromosomes. In each gene on these chromosomes is the information for the development of the baby, whether physical or cognitive.

In the case of Down syndrome, in pair 21, a trisomy appears (3 chromosomes) instead of two, creating certain features special in the unborn child such as their physical appearance, congenital heart problems, visual and hearing problems, muscle weakness, and mental retardation, which with the passing of the years is accentuated.

Down Syndrome is not considered a disease but rather a genetic disorder.

An extra chromosome, that of joy, love and kindness

As I worked with children with Down Syndrome, I learned to focus on possibilities rather than limitations; so I argued that children with Down Syndrome had one more chromosome that makes them different, unique, and generally called it the ” extra love chromosome.

In a study conducted by American Journal of Medical Genetic, where they surveyed 284 people with Down Syndrome, 99% declared to be happy, because they accept themselves as they are, and love the life they lead. Family members also responded to the survey stating that a child with Down syndrome has the unique characteristic of not being able to hold a grudge ; They are innocent in their actions, they always give a smile, they like to hug, they are positive, they adore animals, they accept all people, and above all they are carriers of love, kindness and joy.

A marriage full of good qualities

Unfortunately, this couple had to celebrate 22 years of marriage to be news, and somehow have the trust and approval of the people. The stigma against everything that is different scares us. You have to be very brave to be able to face life when you have a special condition or ability.

From my years of working with people with special abilities, I learned the importance of considering all people as human beings, equal, unique as they are in the eyes of God.

Some inclusion strategies that can help you know how to act in these situations are:

Avoid being overly concerned with a person with a physical or mental disability.

Treat people normally, stop acting differently; This marks much more the disability of the person. Treatment should be without feeling sorry.

Sometimes, not knowing how to act, we prefer to ignore the situation. It is better to do what one can from the heart than to avoid the situation.

Be patient, kind and considerate, not with limitations, but with all human beings.

Finally, it would include the qualities of this couple, which are natural in people with Down syndrome, such as knowing how to forgive, not hold a grudge, be positive, and not judge others for their physical, intellectual or emotional appearance.

They also know that showing with actions (a hug or a simple smile) what we feel for the other, will be the key to a lasting marriage.

At least, that’s how it is shown in the case of Marianne and Tommy Pilling, who have been married for 22 years full of love.

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