Two mothers helped arrange a surprise meeting for a long-distance couple with Down syndrome after the pair first fell in love at a conference earlier this year.
The adorable couple, Nick Doyle and Gabi Angelini, both have Down syndrome and met in April in Detroit, Michigan, while attending the National Down Syndrome Society's national conference. Instantly, the pair hit it off but had to start a long-distance relationship due to their locations.
Lisa Doyle, Nick's mother, then captured the moment when she and Gabi's mother, Mary, surprised the couple with a visit after being away from each other
An emotional video shows Nick at the airport in Canton, Ohio.
One of THE happiest days of my life. Gabi’s mom and I surprised them with a reunion. Frontier Airlines Ellen DeGeneres *****update******** Many of you asked for the back story....here is an abbreviated version: Nick Doyle, age 30, Canton, Ohio Gabrielle Angelini, age 21, Raleigh, NC Instagram: @gabisgrounds @doyle2994 @glenoak2007 @gabrielle.angelini 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. 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 #theellenshowPosted by Lisa Doyle on Friday, August 9, 2019
The young man is filmed waiting for whom he thinks will be his friend at the airport, but then he sees Gabi, who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, descend down the escalator with her mom. Nick, 30, instantly becomes emotional and even briefly walks away from Gabi because he is in disbelief she is actually visiting him in his hometown.
Gabi, 21, drops her bags and runs towards Nick. The couple embrace each other while Nick says Gabi's name over and over again. One of the mothers can be heard in the background saying the reunion made it all "worth it".
The surprise reunion was orchestrated by both Lisa and Mary after the couple first met in April at the conference. According to Lisa, Nick and Gabi were "inseparable" throughout the event, but then they forgot to exchange numbers.
'Like a good little millennial, [Nick] went to social media and found her,' Lisa wrote, adding: 'They started their long-distance romance via text and phone and FaceTime.'
The couple then met up again in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in June for another conference, but they were devastated when they had to leave each other again.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Down syndrome continues to be the most common chromosomal disorder. Each year, about 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome, which is about 1 in every 700 babies born. Between 1979 and 2003, the number of babies born with Down syndrome increased by about 30%. Researchers estimated that in 2008 about 1 out of every 1,200 people (children, teens, and adults) living in the United States had Down syndrome. This means that in 2008 about 250,700 children, teens, and adults were living with Down syndrome in the United States.