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Down Syndrome Couple Told Not to Marry, Celebrate 25 Year Anniversary

Kris Scharoun and Paul DeForget prove their critics wrong after 25 years together

 on 19th January 2019 @ 12.00pm
kris scharoun and paul deforget prove their critics wrong as they celebrate their 25 year anniversary © press
Kris Scharoun and Paul DeForget prove their critics wrong as they celebrate their 25-year anniversary

Kris Scharoun and Paul DeForget met thirty years ago and were told they should never marry.

Despite being told their union could never work, the couple has just celebrated their 25-year anniversary, proving all of their critics wrong.

The pair, who both have Down Syndrome, was advised against marrying due to their care requirements and worsening health conditions.

Kris Scharoun, 58, and Paul DeForget, 54, met at a dance three decades ago, and as Kris said, “I looked into Paul’s eyes and saw my future,” reports Today.


“When they were approaching the five-year engagement mark they really wanted to get married, so we started to plan their wedding,” said Kris’s sister, Susan Scharoun.

kris and her husband paul celebrating their 22nd anniversary © Facebook
Kris and her husband Paul celebrating their 22nd Anniversary

According to the Epoch Times, Scharoun has always been an admirer of the couple, explaining how they really define the meaning of true love.

But many were not in favor of the couple’s decision to get married, as they strongly believed that people with Down syndrome should not really get married.

“They had a lot of struggles,” Scharoun said.

“I saw them as individuals who should have a right to make that decision.”

But eventually, the wedding took place with the presence of 150 guests at the Le Moyne Manor hotel in New York.

“Their wedding was a wonderful affair,” Scharoun said.

“Kris’ main desire has always been to be a ‘me of a we.’”

Over the last few years, the adorable couple has really enjoyed a life of togetherness. Kris would love cooking for Paul.

They would also often bowl and attend dances together.

kris and paul scharoun deforge celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary © press
Kris and Paul Scharoun-Deforge celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary

Most of all, the couple have stood by each other through thick and thin.

“They have been a role model for unconditional positive regard in a relationship,” Scharoun said.

the couple has now been happily married for 25 years © press
The couple has now been happily married for 25 years

The couple, from Syracuse, United Kingdom, renewed their vows on Aug. 18, 2018, and Scharoun summed up the couple’s happy marriage at the vow-renewal ceremony.

“They have an unconditional love,” she said.

“They totally complement each other.”

“He opened up my world,” Kris told The Buffalo News.

Kris has been in the hospital with pneumonia, so they held their ceremony in the hospital chapel.

Paul is suffering from health issues as well, and the couple has been separated, as Paul needs special care as he suffers from dementia.

Kris, who has type 1 diabetes, is able to visit him, but the couple is struggling with their situation.

“She is more emotionally vulnerable and he has always been her rock,” Scharoun said.

“She would plan what they would do and really be responsible for the social events.”

“We had to tell her he wasn’t going to come back and it became really difficult for her.”

Though Paul suffers from his condition, Scharoun explained: “He recognizes Kris more than anyone else, but, he is slipping away from us.”

scharoun says paul  recognizes kris more than anyone else  but  he is slipping away from us © press
Scharoun says Paul 'recognizes Kris more than anyone else, but, he is slipping away from us'

The couple is proof that folk with intellectual disabilities can lead very happy and stable lives together.

“Marriage is a universal part of the human experience, and people have a universal desire to spend it with someone they love,” said Erin Sobkowski, a lawyer and officer with 21 Connect.

“They should define their own lives. We should ask them more questions about what they want,” Scharoun said.

“They know what is good for them.”

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tags: Marriage | Health

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