Ohio couple with Down syndrome who fell in love after meeting at local dance group engaged after dating for two years
A couple with Down Syndrome has become the talk of the internet after their wholesome engagement pictures went viral.
John Rush and his girlfriend Shanae Nicholes, both 23 and from Ohio, had met each other at a local dance group because of a mutual love for dance and started dating after Rush worked up the courage to ask Nicholes to be his girlfriend.
Two short and fun-filled years later, he asked her to be his wife in a sunflower field, and pictures of the engagement have quickly racked up thousands of shares and likes.
John's father, David Brown, said their whole family is "over the moon" for the couple and that they were "overwhelmed" by the attention. "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."
"John and Shanae met through their mutual love of dance and attended the same dance group," he continued. "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."
He said that the couple was "attached at the hip" and that they matched their shirts "99% of the time," adding that they loved dancing, playing outside, and horse riding together. He also said their relationship was proof that there was love out there for everybody.
"Any advice I'd give to other parents is to be patient and not to worry too much about their child finding love," he said. "Love always finds a way—and I'm so glad it found its way to John and Shanae.'
Megan Van Dam, 23, a long-time best friend of Rush and the photographer responsible the engagement shoot, also paid tribute to Rush and the couple's love.
"Johnny has been my best friend since I could remember—he's practically a brother to me," she revealed. "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," she continued. "I love both of them and I can't wait for them to have the special day they've been waiting for."
Rush and Nicholes are set to tie the knot in May 2020, surrounded by family and friends.