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Father’s Day book signing takes place at St. Teresa’s

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Gabby Flumerfeldt serves during Mass at St. Teresa of Avila in Akron.

As a Father’s Day gift to his daughter, Steven Flumerfeldt wrote a book telling the story of a father’s love for his daughter with Down Syndrome. “Gabby’s Gift” tells the true-life story of the highs and lows of raising a daughter with a disability. Flumerfeldt highlights Gabby’s unconditional love for everyone she meets.

“It’s to show how compassionate, loving and caring a child with Down Syndrome is. They are essential,” the author said. “I’m not saying that it’s not difficult because there are difficulties that’s for sure. But there are so many more blessings that way outweigh those difficulties.”

Not a writer by trade, Flumerfeldt just wanted to pen a tribute to his daughter to showcase how she does everything with a great love and joy.  

The book has a long chapter focusing on Gabby’s religious experiences, including her baptism, her first Communion, and her confirmation. Now 21, Gabby is an altar server and a cross bearer at St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Akron.   

Her father recalled how after telling their pastor, Father Arthur E. Mattulke, how happy she was to be at church, the priest altered his homily to include her thoughts.  

Steven Flumerfeldt dances with his daughter Gabby. The young lady inspired the book, “Gabby’s Gift.”

Parents who have children with similar special needs, will be interested in reading about the many athletic and therapeutic organizations that have helped Gabby, such as Danceability in Depew and Purple Pony in LeRoy.  

By telling of the joys his daughter has brought to the family, Flumerfeldt hopes to change minds and hearts of parents who are told their child may have a disability as well. “I know how many children with Down syndrome are aborted. I’d love to be able to write something to show how much love that these children have. I want to show people that they’re as good or better than anyone else out there,” he said. “If I could stop one abortion, I’d be ecstatic.”

The Women’s Guild of St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Akron is hosting a book signing this weekend after the 4:30 p.m. vigil, 8 and 10:15 a.m. Masses. Coffee and doughnuts will be available, and books can be purchased for $10.

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