Meet the Renteria family. They were devastated on November 22, 2016, when the youngest of their family, 9 year-old Gabriel, was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer, and their lives changed forever. The tumor is in the orbit of Gabriel’s right eye and after a biopsy was found to be cancerous. He was immediately treated with radiation and chemo. The whole family spent thanksgiving in the ICU. On top of that, the week of Christmas he had neutropenia and was hospitalized. After managing to get strong enough, he was released on December 23, 2016. Since his diagnosis they’ve been in and out of hospitals, and he’s struggled with the side effects of the chemo. It’s an emotional roller coaster for his parents, as well as his siblings, feeling so many different emotions they never knew even existed. All they can do is continue to try and cope daily.
Gabriel is a HUGE stuffed animal collector. He calls them his “family” and names them all. His name picking is quite unique because he names each and every one of them and doesn’t forget their names. His room is beyond full of stuffed animals, and in fact he rotates what animals sleep on his top bunk.
Quote from Gabriel’s Mom:
Mascots for a Cure is a dream to Gabriel. To interact with life size (stuffed-like) animals brings a HUGE smile to Gabriel’s face. To hug them, look at them and interact with the mascots is a memory he will never forget. These are the memories we want him to have as he goes through battling cancer. We want him to think of the happiness he felt when he interacted with the Mascots and not the pain he felt of chemo.
Mascots for a Cure is a unique and amazing group of beautiful people who are truly a blessing to the children they make smile.