People have called them 'disgusting', but this couple's love is an inspiration to all
Love has no boundaries. It can overcome almost everything, and every person in the world has the right to love and feel loved.
In July 1995, Maryanne and Tommy Pilling, who both suffer from Down's syndrome, took a groundbreaking step and got married.
You'd think people would be happy for them, but the couple had to deal with criticism, bullying and people who didn't think their relationship would last.
But it looks like Maryanne and Tommy eventually had the last laugh. More than 22 years have passed and they are still together, happier than ever.
Despite all the haters, their love story amazed and inspired millions of people all over the world.
It wasn't always easy for the loving couple. Maryanne, 46, and Tommy, 59, both from Essex, England, faced countless challenges.
Both experienced the cruelty of prejudice and suffered from many people because of their condition.
But despite all the obstacles, they found love in each other.
They met at a center for people with learning difficulties and it was love at first sight.
"The day Maryanne met Tommy, she came home with the biggest smile", said Maryanne's sister, Lindy. "She kept talking about him and asked if he could come to dinner".
18 months later, Tommy was sure Maryanne was the one for him. He decided he wanted to marry her. But he wasn't going to do anything about it until her mother approved.
Although hesitant at first, Maryanne's mother and the rest of the family eventually gave their blessing. They were hesitant at first, partly because of the reviews and negative reactions from people in the community. People thought the idea was absurd, that the union would not last long and that the couple were "disgusting".
But nothing stopped the love they had for each other.
"My wedding was the best day of my life", Maryannene said. "I was shocked when Tommy proposed me. But I didn't have to think twice to say 'yes'".
In July 1995, in front of family and friends at a beautiful church in Essex, Maryanne and Tommy exchanged vows and had the wedding of their dreams.
Maryanne's mother accompanied Tommy to buy the ring.
"When they walk down the street holding hands they are declaring something, but something good..", Maryanne's sister says. "Some people stare - they think people with Down's syndrome can't get married".
Maryanne's sister set up a Facebook page so people could follow their love story.
"We get so many wonderful messages from people who have been inspired by their story", Lindy said. "People who worry about their children or grandchildren with Down's syndrome get hope from Maryanne and Tommy's story".
"Their relationship is so special because it is pure - they don't understand bad feelings or hatred", she added. "I hope their children will also fall in love and live happily and richly".
Looking at photos from their wedding and more recent photos, it's not hard to see the love and happiness they have in life.
Watch the video to see more of Maryanne and Tommy's heartwarming love story:
Tommy and Maryanne's story truly proves that love can overcome any obstacle.
There were people who doubted their love and marriage because they have Down's syndrome, but their never-ending love proved the haters wrong.
Please share this amazing love story with all your friends on Facebook if you were moved by this couple.