This Video of a Long-Distance Couple With Down Syndrome Reuniting Will Have You in Tears
"It truly was love at first sight!"
In April 2019, fate brought 30-year-old Nick Doyle and 21-year-old Gabrielle Angelini together. According to Nick's mom Lisa, the two met at a National Down Syndrome Society conference in Detroit and they instantly became "inseparable."
Though Nick and Gabrielle lived in different parts of the country—Nick in Canton, Ohio, and Gabrielle in Raleigh, North Carolina—the two decided to keep in touch. And through texting and video chatting and talking on the phone, they were able to turn their brief but strong connection into a long-distance relationship.
"It's truly remarkable that their relationship even blossomed as neither Nick nor Gabi have ever been in a relationship before," Lisa wrote in a Facebook post in August. "It truly was love at first sight! People with Down syndrome 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."
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After that fateful introduction in April, Nick and Gabrielle saw each other in person again in June at the National Down Syndrome Congress. But after that, they had no concrete follow-up plans. Their moms, however, were secretly plotting to bring them back together sooner rather than later.
"We knew we had to do something to get them together. Mary [Gabi's mom] told Gabi they were going to a conference," Lisa wrote about the set-up. "I told Nick a friend needed a ride home from the airport."
When Nick spotted his girlfriend Gabi at the airport and finally realized what was going on, he literally fell to the floor in a mixture of surprise and joy. Once Gabi too caught on, she ran over to Nick and leaped into his arms, making sure to never let go of her beau.
One of THE happiest days of my life. Gabi's mom and I surprised them with a reunion. Frontier AirlinesEllen DeGeneres*****update********Many of you asked for the back story….here is an abbreviated version:Nick Doyle, age 30, Canton, OhioGabrielle Angelini, age 21, Raleigh, NCInstagram: @gabisgrounds@doyle2994@email@example.comNick 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. Thank you for your interest! The world could surely use more of THIS! Please share and comment! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️#downsyndrome#theimprovaneers#standupfordowns#gigisplayhousecanton#selfadvocate#gabisgrounds#cantonohio#raleighnc#huginamug#specialneedsfamilies#inclusion#differentnotdifferent#trisomy21#loveislove#thetodayshow#theellenshow
Posted by Lisa Doyle on Friday, August 9, 2019
Understandably, the internet has had quite a visceral reaction to this heartwarming video of the couple reuniting. In just one month, the short clip has garnered around 1.5 million views, along with over 4,000 comments of love and support.
"This is so beautiful. Love comes in different ways," one Facebook user wrote in the comments. "I'm so happy they found each other. Please keep us updated on this lovely couple." Another user noted that the video "brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart."
And as for Nick and Gabi's future? "We feel confident there will be wedding bells," Lisa wrote. It just doesn't get any sweeter than this. And for more feel-good stories, check out this viral video of two toddlers reuniting after just two days apart.
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