People with Down’s syndrome face numerous difficulties and obstacles in life and, unfortunately, sometimes many of those obstacles are set by their families or relatives.
While societies have been trying to include people born with this syndrome in all aspects of social life lately, this didn’t use to be the case a few years ago.
And, although activities like going to school or taking up hobbies are considered necessary for the social-emotional development of these children, there are other aspects of life that are still considered taboo issues for them.
For instance, romantic relationships and marriage are still a point of debate among those who believe adults with Down’s syndrome could be benefitted from such relationships and others who consider them a mistake.
Research has shown that family and friends might be against two people with Down’s syndrome getting married because they are concerned about possible pregnancies and the higher risk of carrying a baby that has the same condition
However, those in favor of such marriages, argue that by getting married these people will have a life-long partner that will understand them, engage with them in social activities and share a wide range of experiences with them.
This kind of debate was most probably brought about when young Kris decided to marry her boyfriend of five years more than 25 years ago.
Kris Scharoun-DeForge and Paul DeForge met at a dance party when they were in their early twenties and they dated for five years. They both had Down’s syndrome, but this didn’t seem to hold them back from having a healthy relationship and develop deep feelings for one another.
At some point, Kris decided it was time for them to take the next step and make their relationship “official”, so marriage was the only option.
“I proposed to him,” Kris said in an interview with CBS Evening News. “I whispered in his ear ‘Would you marry me?'”
At the time, not everyone was happy with this decision. People weren’t even sure whether the two knew exactly what love was or if they could actually love each other the way other people do.
But Kris and Paul proved everyone wrong.
In fact, when they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 2018 and renewed their vows, they touched everyone’s hearts with the love and devotion they had for each other.
They also became the first couple with Down’s syndrome to have been married for so long.
However, a few months after they celebrated their silver anniversary, Paul, 56, was admitted to the hospital because he had dementia and he faced complications due to his condition.
While he was fighting this mental deterioration, a urinary tract infection and, finally, pneumonia, his beloved wife didn’t leave his side. Kris was always there for him, caring for him and trying to make him feel better.
Eventually, Paul passed away last year, and Kris had to learn the hard way what it feels like to be alone after a very long time.
Luckily, she has her sister around, who is always there for her and has always been for the couple, and she is working with her self towards overcoming the terrible loss and resuming her life.
She has returned to work and she is gradually resuming her hobbies as well. However, she will never forget her husband, who “was the one for her”, as she admitted.
This sweet love story is proof that these people, too, should be given a chance to live their lives with the people they choose to have as partners. Their love can be so deep and their life can be so meaningful when they have each other.
In the video below, Kris talks about her beloved husband and she touches hearts.
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