Gabriel was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma in 2015 and faced a long journey the first 13 months after his diagnosis – receiving daily chemotherapy – and overcame unexpected obstacles, including a blood clot that required blood thinners for six months. Gabriel completed his chemotherapy just after Thanksgiving in November 2017.
Now in second grade, 7-year-old Gabriel is an excellent student who enjoys swimming and playing soccer. “I am just so happy and excited to have the chance to help other kids who are sick,” said Gabriel.
As the CMNH Champion, announced today at a special CMNH kickoff event at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott, Gabriel will represent UPMC Children’s Hospital at local fundraising community events with CMNH national partners including Ace Hardware, Dairy Queen, Costco, iHeart Media Pittsburgh, Marriott, Panda Express, Sam’s Club, Speedway and Walmart.
“We are honored to have Gabriel serve as the 2019 Champion to be an advocate and represent all of our patients and families undergoing treatment and care here at Children’s Hospital,” said Rachel Petrucelli, president, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. “We are so proud to partner with a tremendous organization like CMNH, which gives us the opportunity year after year to highlight our patients who have faced medical challenges and now can help to raise funds by sharing their incredible journeys.”
“Our family is so very grateful to have the opportunity to inspire others and to give back to a program that has helped Gabriel and our entire family through his treatment,” said Susan and Bryan Tillman, Gabriel’s parents.
UPMC Children’s Hospital has been a member of CMNH since 1986 and donations raised locally benefit the hospital. The CMNH Champions program celebrates a child from every CMNH in the United States who has bravely battled a serious injury or illness.