His cough kept getting worse. Then six-year-old Gabriel from Stoney Creek began to experience severe headaches and chest pains. The usually energetic boy was becoming lethargic and an unusual spot began to grow on his lip. Gabriel’s parents, Adriana and Juan, were hoping it was just a cold that was caught at summer camp.
“The day before we were supposed to leave for a trip to Punta Cana, we took Gabriel to McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) just to be safe,” recalls Adriana of her family’s experience in August 2017. “It was the scariest moment of my life when he was diagnosed with leukemia. If we’d gone to Punta Cana, he wouldn’t have had access to the amazing care here at the Hospital.”
“He was always positive and kept a smile on his face.”
Gabriel immediately began a program of intensive chemotherapy, which caused him to lose his hair and frequently feel nauseous.
“He’s such a brave boy,” says Adriana. “Even when he wasn’t feeling well because of the treatment, he was always positive and kept a smile on his face.”
Within 30 days, the chemotherapy regimen proved successful and Gabriel’s cancer was in remission. His treatment will continue until 2020 to ensure that the cancer does not come back.
“We still visit the Hospital for regular chemotherapy. At some point in the future, the hope is to continue his treatment at home, where he’ll need only oral medication.”
Gabriel’s prognosis looks positive and his oncology team keeps a close eye on him to ensure that the leukemia does not become active again. He is proud to be sharing his story as a Superhero Ambassador for the 2018 MacKids Walk & Wheel, a fundraising event in support of McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation. The event will be held at its new Bayfront Park location on June 2.
“We see the light at the end of the tunnel and we look forward to the successful completion of his chemotherapy,” says Adriana. “MCH is spectacular and we are thankful every day to the doctors, nurses and donors who make this care a reality.”
Be a superhero and fundraise at mackids.ca/walkandwheel.