Many people are not lucky enough to find "the one" before they die, but those who find their soulmates cherish them until their last breath. Here is a story of a couple with Down Syndrome who found each other and believe they are destined to be together after many years of failed relationships.
The real meaning of true love is different for each person and situation. But, ultimately, it all boils down to what one feels when one finally experiences it.
Everyone deserves to have a taste of true love, and while there are over seven billion people worldwide, many believe there can only be one soulmate for an individual.
Sadly, finding this person can sometimes be soul-crushing, especially for people with disabilities. In a quest to find true love, some face mockery, ridicule, and rejection.
However, individuals with special needs and the disabled can find true love. The world has seen many of these couples enjoy bliss in their romances, proving that love can conquer all difficulties.
One such couple is Leah and Andrew Taylor Jones. Here are details of how the couple defied all odds, found love, and eventually walked down the aisle.
INSIDE LEAH'S LIFE BEFORE SHE MET ANDREW
Leah Taylor, a native of Runcorn, England, was born with Down Syndrome, and while growing up, she was always shy. However, Leah always wished that someday, she would have the perfect wedding and show her family how much she could love someone. Leah held onto that dream for years while waiting for her soulmate.
Along the way, she got into some romantic relationships, but none of them worked out. Still, Leah did not give up. Her mother, Sue, was always by her daughter's side, encouraging Leah to be patient as the right man was around the corner.
At some point, Leah thought of applying for Channel 4's "Undateables," a program that matches people who feel unlucky in love. But before she proceeded with her thoughts, Leah would meet Andrew, the man who would capture her heart and make her dream come through.
Like Leah, Andrew, a store assistant at Asda, was born with Down Syndrome. He had been single for nine years and was hoping to meet that remarkable woman with whom he would spend the rest of his life.
When he finally met Leah, Andrew said he knew she was the one. The lovebirds were destined to meet each other, but they had missed out on an earlier first encounter.
Leah and Andrew had the chance to run into each other several times, as they were both members of the same gym and also attended a gymnastics competition. Nevertheless, they had no regrets about the missed chances because they finally found each other and could spend forever together.
DETAILS OF THEIR FIRST MEETING/LOVE STORY
The couple first crossed paths in 2013 at the inclusive Ella Performance Group and hit it off immediately. Speaking about the encounter, Leah told The Mirror:
"When I met Andrew, I knew I liked him straight away. I said to one of my friends that he was a hottie, and he was the one for me."
Surprisingly, despite Leah's thoughts about Andrew, she turned him down when he first asked her out. According to the woman, she needed some time to think about it. However, when Andrew asked the second time, Leah was ready, and she gave the man a positive answer.
The pair started dating, and after a while, Leah took another big step towards her happy ending. She accepted Andrew's proposal at a local restaurant with a prosecco toast on the latter's 38th birthday.
Regarding the proposal, Andrew mentioned that it was fate, and seeing that he almost let Leah get away, he had to do something to keep her by his side forever.
The couple began planning for their big day, but due to COVID 19 restrictions, they had to postpone the wedding.
In June 2021, Andrew and Leah finally exchanged wedding vows in a beautiful Alice in Wonderland tea-party-themed ceremony. The ceremony took place in front of 28 guests at All Saints Church in Daresbury.
Leah walked down the aisle to Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years," while the couple left the church with Westlife's "Beautiful In White" playing in the background.
Photographer Wes Simpson's Wedding captured unforgettable moments from the ceremony and plastered them on Andrew's Facebook Page.
LIFE AS A MARRIED COUPLE
Since the lovebirds tied the knot, they have been open about their love story to inspire hopeful romantics to not give up on finding true love. In Leah's words:
"It's the best feeling in the world meeting the love of your life, he's my best friend, and I want to grow old with him."
Leah once said that meeting her life's love was the best feeling. She also described Andrew as her best friend, adding that she wanted to grow old with him.
Andrew has also been candid about his and Leah's love story. According to the store assistant: "When I proposed to Leah, there was nothing more I wanted in the world than for her to say yes. The best thing is to wait for the right person, they are only ever just around the corner."
In 2022, the couple planned to celebrate their full wedding reception with over a hundred guests in attendance. In addition, they planned to invite everyone who could not attend the wedding due to COVID restrictions. To date, it is unknown if the event has taken place.
Meanwhile, Leah is not only inspiring romantics with her love story, but she is also helping people with disabilities to feel more confident. After battling low self-esteem for years, she set up an arts program for disabled people to boost their morale with the help of her PA.
Currently, she runs Positive You, a nonprofit company supporting people across the United Kingdom. Leah will always be a reminder that irrespective of the challenges one faces, anything is possible.
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