The Central Florida love story that's melting hearts around the world

Story about couple with Down syndrome goes viral

By Carolina Cardona - Reporter

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A Central Florida teen couple with Down syndrome is touching hearts after a homecoming proposal that's gone viral.

"It's a good experience for other parents to know that they are going to live normal lives, that they're gonna be loved and they're going to have their special someone," Marilyn Cowan, the mother of one of the teens, said.

On Sept. 26, her son David, a 19-year-old Seminole High School student, surprised his 18-year-old girlfriend, Saris, at a football game while she was cheerleading. David showed up with a poster that read: "Will you be my sunshine at homecoming?" He also brought flowers and balloons. 

"Everybody knew what was going on behind the scenes except her," Cowan said. 

The moment was captured by the teens' parents and they shared it on their Facebook pages but they never imagined the response it would get. 

"It was just something special between them two that we wanted to take pictures and videos. That's what we do with them because they're always so happy to see each other," Cruz said.

Since then, millions have viewed the video.

It's a gesture their parents hope is sending a message of hope to families who have children with Down syndrome or any other disability. 

"They can have a very fulfilling life. It shows the world that they're capable of accomplishing anything," Wanda Cruz said.

Her daughter, Saris, is into modeling, water sports and is a cheerleader for Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs.

"They both are in Special Olympics. They both have activities on the weekends," Cowan said.

Her son also does power-lifting and is involved with Seminole High School's football team. 

The couple's love story began after their mothers became friends. Cruz and Cowan moved to Florida from Puerto Rico several years ago, but they never met until they connected at their children's speech therapy 15 years ago.

David and Saris were best friends and during their teen years, the relationship blossomed.

"I could see how happy she is and I can see how incredible and excited she is every time she says his name," Cruz said. "It warms my heart knowing that she has someone that cares for her."

David has become Saris' cheerleader, showing her support at games and in important life events like her quinceañera party three years ago, where he even gave her a promise ring.

"He and Saris have a beautiful relationship, we are going to cheer them on until God has other plans for them," Cowan said.

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