Gabe was in kindergarten at Jane Addams when he was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive stage IV cancer in 2009. The entire Moline-Coal Valley School District rallied around his family, as Gabe's parents also both taught in the district; Gabe's dad teaches science at Wilson, and his mom worked at Ericsson and Lincoln Irving, before moving to the preschool. Throughout that year and his first grade year, Gabe was in and out of school as he underwent treatments to fight the cancer. He loved school and his friends, and was able to experience incredibly special moments in his life, such as an amazingly perfect Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World and a private meeting with the band, Rascal Flatts, along with getting his own holiday, Green Day, since he missed other school celebrations due to his hospital stays. Sadly, Gabe passed away in August of 2010, just before beginning 2nd grade, and three weeks before his 8th birthday. His amazing attitude and bravery through adversity continue to impact so many people, even 10 years after his death. His life has inspired countless people to live their very best life - to be better and do better, and to be thankful for their blessings rather than focus on the hardships. That is the lesson we can all take away from his story, and to never forget that life is precious and a gift!
How you can "Gift it Forward"
Consider random acts of kindness in Gabe's memory - we can all work together to make this world a better, kinder place. Also, we would love your participation in Gabe's Gift Memorial 5k, a fundraiser to help other families who have lost children to cancer. Look for registration or volunteer opportunity information at www.gabesgift.com.