March 04, 2019 09:09 PM
(ABC 6 News)-- This year, an estimated 15,780 children between birth and 19-years-old will be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. That’s according to the National Cancer Institute.
It’s something no family should have to go through, but so many do. The good news is, survival rates for most cancers have gone up in recent decades.
On Monday, there was more good news. This time, coming from a Byron boy battling Acute Lymphoblast Leukemia. ABC 6 News has been following Gabe Carranza’s story since he was diagnosed in 2015. Surrounded by friends and family, Gabe became the first child to ring a special bell at Mayo Clinic.
“We made the bell and we donated it to the Oncology area,” said Gabe’s Mother, Andrea Carranza.
Andrea says the bell is to "honor the fighters, to remember the resting and party with the survivors".
Gabe has been battling cancer for more than three years.
“[It’s been] hard,” said Gabe. “Really hard.”
However, Andrea says Gabe has had an incredible attitude; becoming a beacon of hope for others. “I am so proud of him, he has fought hard through so much.”
Gabe’s advice to others going through similar hardships is to "stay positive and tell jokes often”.
He has also had a lot of support and not just from those close to him, but from complete strangers as well. Last Valentine's Day, Gabe received more than 600 loving cards from people across the country. He thanks everyone who helped him get to this point.
This past weekend, Gabe had his final chemotherapy appointment and he is now in remission.
“I don’t know how to describe it really,” said Gabe, after ringing the bell. “A lot was going through my mind.”
“I am elated that he doesn't have to have all the pokes and all of the medicine and all the sickness,” said Andrea.
It’s was bitter sweet moment, though. Gabe’s aunt, Jackie Carranza, was diagnosed with the same form of cancer. However, Jackie didn't make it. Eight years ago, she passed away at the age of 11.
Andrea says the bell at Mayo Clinic will help keep Jackie’s memory alive. “When that bell rings it honors everyone no matter where they are,” she said. “If they are already a survivor, if they are still fighting or they are resting and cancer free … they are remembered.”
Created: March 04, 2019 09:09 PM
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