Everyone loves a heartwarming viral story. When you’re feeling upset, stories about sweet, adorable people instantly brighten your day. Take the story, for example, of David Matthew Cowan, who surprised his cheerleader girlfriend, Saris Marie Garcia, in September 2019 by publicly asking her to be his date to the fall Homecoming dance. Why is this special? Because both of them have Downs syndrome, but they weren’t going to let this be a barrier in attending a social dance with their friends.
Downs Syndrome Couples
People with Downs syndrome rarely date, get married and have children. Only 15 to 30 percent of women with trisomy 21 are fertile, and if they do get pregnant, there’s a 50 percent risk of having a child with Downs syndrome as well. But it’s still a wonderful feeling to be in a relationship, no matter who you are.
Relationships give everyone a chance to love and be loved. They help avoid loneliness, depression, and you can gain some self-esteem. So, if someone with Downs syndrome were to find a partner who loves and appreciates them (and maybe even relates to them as someone who also has Downs syndrome), it’s important to encourage this relationship.
Best Surprise Ever
Seminole High School senior David Matthew Cowan surprised his girlfriend, Saris Marie Garcia, at a football game in September. Garcia, a cheerleader at the school, had no idea Cowan was going to show up. He ran out onto the field, clutching a bouquet, balloons, and a sign, which read, “Will you be my sunshine to Homecoming?” Of course, Garcia only had one answer: Yes!
In the video posted on Garcia’s Instagram, she takes off her pom-poms as soon as she sees her boyfriend. She runs over to him, grabs his sign, and she breaks into a happy fit of smiles. She couldn’t believe someone was actually asking her to a school dance. Everyone could learn a lesson from Cowan’s chivalrous behavior. He dropped to one knee and asked her to the dance.
When Garcia agreed, Cowan kissed her hand. Afterward, Garcia’s cheerleading friends and people in the football stands stood up and applauded for the adorable couple. They cheered as Cowan triumphantly raised his arms in the air. People admire the couple, who have always been adorable.
“That’s how they are. They are always so genuine and sweet and happy together,” said Garcia’s mother, Wanda Cruz, who filmed the now-viral Instagram video. She purportedly is proud that her daughter is in a relationship with a kind young man.
The video of Cowan’s Homecoming proposal immediately went viral. On Instagram, the video reached 373,000 views. Cruz also shared the video on Facebook, where it has garnered around three million views. “It feels amazing to share this story and also to see the impact on other families [with children with Downs syndrome], how they feel inspired and it shows them they can have a fulfilling life.”
Cruz added that the couple have known each other almost all their lives. They met in speech therapy class when they were three years old. She remarked, “They’ve always been together. It’s just so cute how their relationship progressed and blossomed.” Doesn’t that warm your heart?
Dancing The Night Away
Cruz went on to explain that Cowan and Garcia had a wonderful time at the Homecoming dance on September 28. The school’s principal invited them onto the stage, where they had a special moment of recognition. Cruz reflected, “The sweetest thing was when the principal brought them to the stage and introduced them to the school as a special couple, and the crowd went wild. They were just jumping and screaming and cheering for them. It was so cute.”
Cowan and Garcia have hopes and dreams for the future. They’re proving you can be happy and in love, whether you have a disability or not. A disability doesn’t prevent you from years of happiness and cheer, especially if you’re on the journey with your best friend. Just ask Cowan and Garcia. They’re showing us how it’s done.
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