Maryanne and Tommy said no to the critics, proved naysayers wrong, and fought for the astounding love they have for each other. They’re both adults with down syndrome and, 28 years ago, they got married against the opinions of many. Their families were always and are always supportive of their decisions. It’s now, after all this time, that people want to know what exactly what their secret is.
Tommy and Maryanne fell for each other in 1990, after meeting at a training center for adults with disabilities. “The day Maryanne met Tommy she came home with the biggest smile on her face. She couldn’t stop talking about him and asked if he could come for dinner,” said Maryanne’s mother. 18 months later, Tommy asked Maryanne’s mother for her blessing and Maryanne for her hand in marriage. Today is their 29th Valentine’s Day together.
Maryanne’s sister Lindi says that their secret is, quite simply, honest love. “When they walk down the street holding hands they make a statement in a good way. What keeps their marriage so strong is that there is never a hidden agenda. They love each other with their whole hearts and are honest with one another.”
The couple lived with Maryanne’s mother for the first 10 years, while she taught them how to cook and be as self-sufficient as possible. When an apartment opened up next door to them, Tommy and Maryanne moved into their new home together.
Tearfully reflecting on their wedding day, Tommy told hosts of the UK show, Good Morning “I was excited. I was going to get married.” Maryanne told them, “I had a white dress, my hair was tied back. I wore my crown.” She also, after walking the first steps down the aisle with her mother, ran the rest of the way to Tommy.
And their love story continues.