Morning News USA was particularly touched when we saw the viral video of Ashley’s sweet birthday surprise, uploaded by her loving sister Courtney Greenhalgh on June 25.
In a now-viral video, Ashley Greenhalgh couldn’t contain her happiness and excitement after her boyfriend presented her with a promise ring at a family birthday celebration. As she ooohed, aaahed, and squealed in excitement in the video, viewers cannot help having the same reactions as her.
“My family held a luncheon with our closest relatives and friends to celebrate my sister, Ashley’s, 21st birthday and high school graduation,” Courtney Greenhalgh, Ashley’s sister wrote on Facebook. “Among the crowd was my sister’s boyfriend, Danny [Griffiths]. Both Danny and Ashley were born with Down syndrome; not only do they both share an unconditional love for one another, they show a genuine appreciation for life on a daily basis.”
We think herein lies a very interesting story — not just the love story between Ashley and Danny, but the strong sisterly bond between Courtney and Ashley — that people should know more about. As such we sought after Courtney for more details on her life with Ashley, Ashley and Danny’s cute romance, wedding details, and more.
Read below the short but very touching interview with Courtney:
How old are you? Ashley and Danny?
Im 25. Ashley and Danny are both 21.
How was your relationship with Ashley growing up?
To give you a sense of how close Ashley and I have been at an early age, here is a project I wrote up when I was 8. (Attached below is an article written by Ashley where she described Ashley as someone “special” who can make you feel special as well.)
How is Ashley as a sister?
Growing up, Ashley and I were inseparable. I was always her protector looking out for her and having her best interest at heart. I did my best to be a great role model at a young age.
Ashley has done more for me as a sister than I may have been able to do for her. I give her full credit for me turning out to be the compassionate, understanding, and patient young woman that I am today. She keeps me grateful. Whenever times get tough, I turn to her for unconditional love, support, and happiness.
How did the love story between Danny and Ashley happen? Where did they meet?
Ashley and Danny met two years ago at their special needs school, Kingsway Learning Center, in Moorestown, NJ. It’s funny: Danny used to call my sister every single night at 8:30pm (like clockwork!). She started off playing hard to get and said she would just talk to “her boyfriend” at school. Then one day last year, a switch went off in her head and she ended up taking his calls. They started going on actual dates, attending school dances together, etc.
Were there some hesitations & worries from the parents at first?
Both of our families have Ashley and Danny’s best interests at heart. Their genuine love for each didn’t create any worry. They need our guidance to make the right decisions with their relationship (i.e. waiting several years to tie the knot till they’re both ready), and the fact that they’re so cooperative makes the circumstances easier on everyone.
Did Danny tell anyone his plan to give Ashley a promise ring?
So here is the kicker: Danny getting down on one knee was unscripted. The entire video was. However, Danny and Ashley were talking about promise rings and getting married for months… every single time they got on the phone, they would say “Bye boyfriend, bye husband”… “Bye girlfriend, bye wife”. So adorable! My sister is a huge HAM/drama queen so she definitely built up the surprise in the video. Gotta love her personality!
Did Ashley talk about her feelings on the promise ring afterwards with you and can you share them?
She just kept saying after the ring was presented to her that she loves him and is so happy. She also watches this video multiple times a day smliing and giggling.
How is Danny as Ashley’s boyfriend and your future brother-in-law?
Danny, like my role as a sister, is Ashley’s protector. He knows how to calm my sister down when she’s upset. He sincerely loves her. They’re both characters and love to perform on stage/be involved in theatrics so they share a lot of things in common actually. Danny gets along well with me and my entire famliy: he is going to be a fabulous addition to the family! His younger sister refers to Ashley as her sister in law already, too!
Are there already details on the wedding? It’s happening in four years, but we’re excited for the details.
No details as of yet regarding the wedding but we will keep the world posted I’m sure.
Why did you share the video? Did you know it was going to go viral?
I shared the video among my network of friends who know Ashley and Danny’s relationship. I encouraged people to share and spread the love but had no idea it was going to reach the amount of traffic that it did!
What message do you have for your sister and Danny?
Continue to take things one day at a time (good things come to those who wait). You both have the whole world in front of you to create the life that you both want. Always know that you’ll forever have my support along with both of our families.
What message do you have for families with members with Down syndrome?
With unconditional love and support, anything is possible.
Read what Courtney wrote for her sister when she was just 8.
Watch below for the sweet video again: