REAL LIFE

This Down Syndrome Couple's Love Story Tugs At Heartstrings And Makes Everyone Believe In Soulmates

Date August 13, 2018 12:21

Some love stories are different. We often grow up seeing beautiful couples in movies and believe that's how it's supposed to be in real life. But life is unexpected, and the wonderful feeling can blossom in anyone. Maryanne and Tommy Pilling's story is far more touching than anything we could ever imagine.

Love conquers all

The union of Maryanne and Tommy Pilling seemed impossible when the two met, as both of them live with Down Syndrome. It's difficult to imagine that it's possible for people like them to find their soulmates, but life brought these two lovebirds together.

READ ALSO: Man Turns His Son With Down Syndrome Into A Superhero

The couple met at a training center for people with difficulties, and it was love at first sight. Tommy was 13 years older than Maryanne, but if their condition didn't stop them, nothing else ever could.

In 1995, Maryanne and Tommy got married despite the judgement of people around them. Many criticized the couple as they couldn't comprehend their love, and society often fears what they don't understand.

Nevertheless, despite the odds and disbelief from friends and some family members, Maryanne and Tommy loved and cared for each other for many long years. 

Heartbreaking reveal

About 23 years after the couple tied the knot, Tommy started to show signs of dementia. His memory started to fade, and it was tough for Maryanne to understand what was going on. In 2018, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

READ ALSO: Welcome Madeline Stuart: The First Down Syndrome Model Who Lost 55 Pounds And Changed Completely

Maryanne's mother, Linda, talked about the tragedy her daughter faced on Jo Piazza's Commited podcast. She explained that she's not sure how to break the news to Maryanne, so everyone is taking it easy with her:

At the moment, we just say that Tommy is getting older and he forgets things, and he needs a bit more care. And that is enough for Maryanne to deal with at the moment. We go on a day-to-day basis. So at this moment, baby steps.

Despite Tommy's condition, we hope that Maryanne's love for him will be a huge support for him, and the couple enjoys every single day together, just as they happily did ever since the day of their wedding. 

Difference between dementia and Alzheimer's

In order to be prepared for any curve ball life might throw at us, it's important to know the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Dementia is an umbrella term for diseases defined by cognitive decline. Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia, which might happen in old age. Usually, the disease has genetic roots, but it's possible for it to develop in someone with no family history of the condition.

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Some of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer's include memory loss, behavioral changes, disorientation, and difficulty speaking.

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Most often, patients with Alzheimer's live 4-8 years following the diagnosis, but there are some cases where people's life span extends up to 20 years. We believe that hero of our story Tommy can become an exception and his diagnosis doesn't define his life, especially considering how strong the support of his lovely wife Maryanne is.

READ ALSO: Alzheimer’s Disease And Dementia: What Is The Difference

Art Down Syndrome Love Story