9-year-old boy beating brain cancer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Tickets for 2019 St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway on sale Friday
(WMC Action News 5)
Published: Mar. 29, 2019 at 4:31 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2019 at 4:34 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Before their first visit inside St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Andrea’s 9-year-old son Gabe was all about the great outdoors.

“He rode dirt bikes, that was his passion, riding dirt bikes and just being outside,” Andrea said. “It was hard to contain him inside.”

When his favorite song came on, Gabe was known for bustin’ a move.

“Music is a huge passion of his and dancing,” Andrea said. “He had every dance move that you could think of.”

Gabe’s days on his dirt bike are on hold for now but his mom says his dance moves are slowly coming back. His life changed dramatically when non-stop headaches turned into something more serious.

“He had a few concussions and finally we did a scan and that's when we found the tumor in his cerebellum in the back of his head,” Andrea said.

That’s also when Andrea experienced one of the most painful moments in her life.

“My family was in an already low state. We had just dealt with my brother passing and my mother passing and so to hear those words was just kind of like am I going to lose my son as well?” Andrea said.

But Gabe is still here and still fighting. He’s undergone a couple of surgeries, and he’s currently in his last round of chemo.

Andrea says the treatment has been rough, but the dedication of doctors, nurses and staff at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital made the process more bearable.

“He’s been a lifesaver for us,” Andrea said. “We got him when we got down here. Actually, a lady, we had no idea who she was, was in the gift shop but he wanted him. I didn’t have my wallet on me and she was like do you care if I buy him for him and he’s never let go of him since.”

Andrea says the kindness of that total stranger represents everything the St. Jude mission is about.

“There's a totally different feeling that overcomes you when you walk in the door of St. Jude of just joy and people that truly care and truly want to help not only your child, but you as a parent and your family to get through the worst experience of your life,” Andrea said.

“The most amazing place that I could ever ask to be at or be here with my son,” Andrea said. “Without St. Jude, I don't think we would have ever made it where we are now.”

You can help kids like Gabe by reserving a ticket for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway.

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