Nick and Gabi both have Down Syndrome. Nick is a performer in the worlds first all-down syndrome improv troupe, #TheImprovaneers... Gabi is an entrepreneur and owns her own coffee business, #GabisGrounds in Raleigh. They met in Detroit in April 2019 while attending the National Down Syndrome Society national conference. The conference ends with a dance held by the organizers where the two were inseparable. Through the “chaos” of all the parents and caregivers making sure everyone was accounted for and safely on their way back to where they belonged, Nick never got Gabi’s contact information. (Real life Cinderella story) You see she lives in Raleigh, NC and he lives in Canton, OH. So like a good little millennial, he went to social media and found her.
They started their long distance romance via text and phone and FaceTime. They looked forward to the next conference in June, National Down Syndrome Congress, which would take place in Pittsburgh and both would be attending. They spent every second together those three days but again, so sad at the end, as there were no more conferences to bring them together. A couple of weeks after they got back home, Gabi broke down crying to her mom, telling her how much she missed Nick. Mary, Gabi’s mom, reached out to me and we knew we had to do something to get them together. Mary booked a flight for her and Gabi to come to visit us in Canton. We decided we would try to surprise them. Mary told Gabi they were going to a conference...I told Nick a friend needed a ride home from the airport.
It’s truly remarkable that their relationship even blossomed as neither Nick nor Gabi have ever been in a relationship before. Nor did they have interest in having a relationship with someone with DS. But it truly was love at first sight!
People with DS have no “warm up” time when it comes to love...they lean in and love fully. I’ve never seen Nick so happy in his 30 years. We feel confident there will be wedding bells in their future. May God continue to Bless these two.
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Credits: Lisa Doyle
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