By: Daniel Perron
He was born in 1963, diagnosed with autism at the age of three, institutionalized at six, and non-verbal until he was ten. He moved back home at eleven, graduated from high school seven years later, and eventually became one of the most recognized and adored figures in a city of almost a million people.
But his story could have been so different, were it not for those who helped him along the way. Every time little Gabe wandered from home, someone brought him back. One cold night, when he wandered away from the institution, someone saved his life. A few years later, he found himself in a special needs class with a very special teacher who eventually brought him back home, to stay, for good, and to thrive. And when he faced bullying, his brothers came to his defence.
Anyone who has attended major sporting events in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has seen Gabriel Langlois—Dancing Gabe—in action, rocking, twisting, hi-fiving, and cheering on the home teams. It’s difficult to imagine how, as a child he never liked noise and would put his hands over his ears whenever he heard any noise.
In One Step at a Time, Daniel Perron takes us on a fifty-two year journey, up-close and personal, with Gabe Langlois, his mother Angélina, his family, the many friends, medical professionals, foster parents, and media and sports figures who influenced his life. His story will inspire you; parts will make you laugh, others will make you cry, and still others may shock you.
This book is a unique collage of interviews, excerpts from Gabe’s own scribbler, family photos and recent action shots, with many parts told by Gabe and Gabe’s mother, and many of Gabe’s supporters and biggest fans.
Hear the music, feel his passion, and dare to get up and groove with Dancing Gabe.
“Gabe has had a very fulfilling life. He’s never shown any limitations and he’s provided hope to all of us by what he’s accomplished, by overcoming challenges, and just by how he is—a wonderful human being, sweet.”
—Sam Katz, president and owner of the Goldeyes, and former Winnipeg mayor