Both may have to deal with the syndrome but when they're with each other, the harsh words and more that others dole out, it just doesn't matter.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on October 9, 2019. It has since been updated.
Love is one of the most powerful forces in the world. No matter how much hate might exist, love finds a way through those cracks and can bring people together. And that is exactly what it did for one young couple who some might say have it tougher than the rest. John Rush and Shanae Nichols both of whom were born with Down Syndrome recently captured the hearts of many with their heartwarming engagement shoot.
Rush and Nichols, both 23 and from Ohio, first laid eyes on each other at a local dance group. Their mutual passion for dance brought them to that moment when they met each other and became friends. Little did they know then that the moment John plucked up the courage to ask Shanae out, it would be the start of a beautiful relationship.
After two fun-filled and loving years, John decided to take their relationship to the next level — by proposing to her in a sunflower field. What they would find out later was that those beautiful images would go on to be viral, racking up thousands of shares and likes.
John's father David Brown, 39, said, "I think their engagement is amazing - the whole family is over the moon for them both," according to the Daily Mail. "It's great that John and Shanae's love is being shared across the globe," he said. "It's given us the platform to show that love finds everyone in some way."
Wanting to share the story of how these two individuals got onto such an intertwined path, David said, "John and Shanae met through their mutual love of dance, and attended the same dance group. They clicked instantly and became the best of friends and even went to prom together. Eventually, things progressed with them both and John plucked up the courage to ask Shanae to be his girlfriend. Who'd have known two years on they would be engaged to be married."
"Both John and Shanae are basically attached at the hip, and they even match their shirts 99% of the time. They love dance, playing outside and horse riding together. John has always been a very active person - he loves weight lifting, martial arts and things like that. These two amazing people have been a blessing in our lives, and I hope their love story reaches other parents with children that have special needs, and for them to know that love is out there for everyone and to never give up hope," he continued.
Married to his wife, Dawn for 18 years himself, David is overjoyed that his son has found the chance to find a love that lasts. "Any advice I'd give to other parents is to be patient and not to worry too much about their child finding love. Love always finds a way - and I'm so glad it found it's way to John and Shanae."
John's long-time best friend, Megan Van Dam, 23, was their photographer and captured the amazing moment of the couple. She said, "It's crazy that the post on my photography page went so big - my notifications were blowing up. This was only my second ever shoot that I've done so I was on cloud nine when it gained so much attention. Johnny has been my best friend since I could remember - he's practically a brother to me."
The whole time we've been friends, I prayed that he would be able to find love, especially after hearing how awful people were to him and how so many people constantly doubted him. It makes my heart sing that he found the love of his life. I love the both of them and I can't wait for them to have the special day they've been waiting for," she added.
The happy couple are looking to set a date for their wedding in May 2020, surrounded by their loved ones. And we wish them all the luck in having a beautiful, happy married life, free of other's hate and criticism. After all, she is the sun to his sunflower — they only need each other.