Learning that your child has got a developmental disorder is always hard on any parent.
How are your children going to take care of themselves when you are old and feeble, unable to provide for them any longer?
Will they ever live a fulfilling life? Will they be able to achieve all the milestones the rest of us take for granted?
Often the future can be a pretty scary place for parents of special needs children – and for the child themselves as well, once they are able to comprehend what lies in wait for them.
Down Syndrome is a well-known genetic disorder that is caused by a child’s DNA mutating and gaining an extra chromosome.
This often results in the facial features characteristic of the genetic mutation, alongside all sorts of health and mental issues that include slower physical and mental development.
That is, assuming the child’s intellect doesn’t get too disabled by the disorder.
As a result, most folks affected with Down Syndrome aren’t normally expected to live long, fulfilling lives – especially when you factor in the fact that most only live up to 60 years if things go well.
This special couple from New York, however, has been defying the odds and expectations of those around them since they got married 25 years ago.
Kris and Paul Scharoun-DeForge, who are aged 58 and 54 respectively, were born with the genetic mutation.
When they met 30 years ago and fell in love at a dance, nobody expected them to have the emotional maturity to be truly in love with each other.
And when they got married 5 years later and joined their last names together, everyone was certain it wouldn’t last.
And yet here they are, 30 years later, still deeply and truly in love with each other.
It seems that for these two, love, at first sight, is a real thing and something that still holds true.
The couple has been celebrating every single Valentine’s Day that has come their way like clockwork.
Kris, a lover of papercraft, will greet her beloved husband with a personal, handmade card after he comes home from work.
Then they will go out to celebrate the special day for dinner!
Although, seeing just how in-love these two are (and how good Kris is at cooking!), every day probably feels like Valentine’s Day for them.
Unfortunately, time is taking its toll. 2018 marks quite a few major milestones for the couple. For starters, they had celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary!
An amazing feat for a marriage where both partners have Down Syndrome – in fact, their marriage has been recognized as the longest surviving one when it comes to folks with the genetic condition!
It isn’t all roses, however.
Valentine’s Day of 2018 also happens to be the first time the two could not be together, thanks to Paul’s advancing dementia, an illness common with Down Syndrome patients.
Because of his condition, the state has had Paul moved into a community residence, where arrangements have been made so he could be cared for appropriately.
Kris is naturally unhappy about this, as is the family from both sides.
As Susan Schauroun (Kris’s sister) points out, do they not deserve the same respect and understanding as any other couple struggling with dementia?