Gabrielle, Age 5, Featured Artist, 2013

Gabrielle, warrior spirit

January 7, 2012 seemed like just an ordinary Saturday. It was the beginning of a new year, with new direction, new goals. For Gabrielle, it was the day that the course of her life changed. Sitting in the emergency room of Cook Children’s Hospital, little did she know God’s plan for her life involved a life-threatening diagnosis of cancer. Gabrielle, Age 5, Featured Artist, 2013At 4 ½ years old, Gabrielle was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Her journey to becoming a survivor started with almost two weeks in the hospital and will involve 2 ½ years of intense chemotherapy, during which she must give up some of the most precious of childhood experiences…like playing with her friends and beginning Kindergarten.

A year later, Gabrielle entered into the Maintenance phase of treatment and has started to enjoy some “normal” activities again…like going out to eat, playing with friends, and starting Kindergarten at her school. Up to that point she had a wonderful teacher that came to her house so she could be a part of all that was going on in the classroom. She has a mile-long list of things she would like to do including taking dance classes, horse riding lessons, and going on vacations.

Gabrielle, Age 5, Featured Artist, 2013A true fighter, and a sassy one at that, Gabrielle didn’t approach her diagnosis with fear, but with a true warrior spirit. Through every chemotherapy treatment, through every headache and stomach ache, through every birthday party she couldn’t attend…she saw a day that was one step closer to complete healing. She is cancer free, but her treatment will continue until May of 2014 to make sure that it never returns. Her journey is a long one filled with many valleys but it is a journey to complete victory over cancer. Her testimony of God’s awesome power will reach far and wide. Our prayer is that by age 7, Gabrielle will stand proudly and confidently declare: ‘I am a cancer survivor.’

 

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The children we meet who are fighting a battle with blood cancer are some of the most inspirational people we know. Thanks to the special group of kids that participate in the logo drawing contest, each year we have a new logo to represent our event. And every year that logo inspires people to get involved in Our Mission: To bring the community together in a collective effort to raise awareness of and funds for blood cancer research, while honoring those who have battled or are currently battling blood cancer.

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