Father writes moving letter to daughter with Down's syndrome on her wedding day

Paul Daugherty said he had been 'humbled' by response to his letter but would be happier if 'a Down syndrome wedding were not international news'

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The Independent US

A father's moving letter to his daughter, who has Down's syndrome, written on her wedding day, has been shared online across the world.

Paul Daugherty penned the letter to his 25-year-old daughter Jillian, hours before she was to "take the walk of a lifetime" on 27 June.

"I don’t know what the odds are of a woman born with Down syndrome marrying the love of her life," he wrote. "I only know you’ve beaten them."

In his letter he wrote: "Do you remember all the stuff they said you’d never do, Jills? You wouldn't ride a two-wheeler or play sports. You wouldn't go to college. You certainly wouldn't get married. Now ... look at you."

He wrote that he and his wife "didn't worry" that Jillian would do well at school, but worried she might have difficulty being accepted and might struggle to "engage and enjoy the world".

"I shouldn't have [worried]", he wrote. "You're a natural when it comes to socialising."

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Jillian married her husband Ryan on 27 June 2015 (Paul Daugherty)

The letter received huge interest online and has been featured on a variety of news sites.

In a later post on his website Mr Daugherty, who has written a book on his and his wife's experience raising Jillian, said that he had been "humbled and amazed" at the response to the letter.

But he also said he would be happier if "a Down syndrome wedding were not international news".

"I hope Jillian and Ryan uplift and inspire. I hope more that soon enough, stories of unions like theirs become the norm," he wrote.

Down's syndrome is a genetic condition that can affect learning and development.

According to NHS figures, in England and Wales about 775 babies are born with Down's syndrome each year.

Images used with permission. Paul Daugherty's book is 'An Uncomplicated Life' . His website is uncomplicated.life.

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