Couple's Love Story Chips Away at the Stigma Surrounding Down Syndrome
What makes this marriage special is the fight, devotion and maternal love that led up to it.
When Jessica Smith was born with Down syndrome, a doctor told her mother, “This is a bummer, this child is a mongoloid.” When Austin Underwood was born with the same genetic condition, a doctor told his mother she didn’t have to take him home. Neither mom accepted those negative outlooks; when they met through a Down syndrome support group in Dallas, it only made sense that they would become fast friends. Their children, on the other hand, became fast soul mates.
This summer, Underwood and Smith, who’ve been inseparable since they were 4 years old, are getting married. They already live together independently and both have jobs. This marriage, their moms say, is one more major step in erasing the stigma surrounding Down syndrome.
Meet the couple and the moms who never let their kids be defined by their disabilities in the Today show segment below: