In December of 2015, Gabriel discovered an infection that seemed to be protruding from his body. It grew to be double its size and he was taken to a local children’s hospital the very next day. Within eight hours, Gabriel’s doctors diagnosed him with stage-three lymphoma. He immediately began chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Prior to his diagnosis, Gabriel was described as being super outgoing, friendly, and bubbly. He was a happy-go-lucky kid. He was a social butterfly and loved being a part of pictures. After his diagnosis, Gabriel’s cheerful personality changed. He’s now more mellow and reserved; yet, still has a good heart and always wants to help everyone.
When Gabriel was about four-years old, he developed a fascination with coconuts. He loved everything to be coconut flavored, and when Gabriel learned he had the opportunity to make a wish, he knew he wanted to go to Hawaii. He was finally going to have the chance to taste a coconut in Hawaii!
While on his wish trip, Gabriel saw sea turtles, went snorkeling, and enjoyed gazing into the ocean. He also loved his visit to Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center. Upon arriving at the Polynesian Cultural Center, Gabriel was directed to a coconut tree. Gabriel picked out his own coconut, learned how to crack it open, and he got to taste it on the spot. Unfortunately, he found the coconut to be “really warm and gross.” Nonetheless, the wish trip still was incredible for Gabriel and his family.
“Everyone made him feel really special,” said Gabriel’s mom. “He smiled a lot and they treated him like a king. It was like he was royalty and no one else mattered but Gabriel. It was a dream vacation—a once in a lifetime experience.”
Gabriel continues to talk about his trip to Hawaii and has become a huge fan of Disney’s Moana. He loves watching the movie because it reminds him of his wish and all of the wonderful memories he made on his trip to Hawaii.