Condition: Still's Disease
City, State: White City, OR
Club: Hedrick Middle School Sparrow Club Service Hours:
Date Adopted: 10/07/2015
Gabriel, or “Gabe” as his family, and friends call him, is a 3-year-old little boy who loves the outdoors, snakes, and, according to his father, “loves anything with a motor.” This would include cars, trucks, semis, tractors, lawn mowers, go-karts, etc. If it has a motor, Gabe loves it. In many ways, Gabe might look like most other cute little boys his age, but Gabe’s life is very different in ways that one can’t necessarily see from the outside.
Gabe has a rare and severe form of juvenile arthritis called “Still’s Disease,” and because of this, he has had to learn to adjust to being in pain for much of the time. Gabe’s disease affects his entire body and causes the joints throughout his body to swell, becoming stiff and painful. Gabe often cannot sleep at night due to pain in his bones and muscles. At one point, Gabe stopped eating because the pain in his jaw was too much for him.
Gabe also has a life-threatening complication called “macrophage activation syndrome” (MAS), which often occurs in people with Gabe’s type of arthritis. This severely affects Gabe’s heart, kidneys, and liver, and nearly caused him to die when he was just 19 months old.
Gabe’s disease requires him to see doctors on a regular basis, both locally and in Portland. Gabe has monthly x-rays and infusions and takes six medications on a daily basis. Gabe’s doctors have recommended a therapeutic hot tub so that Gabe can receive hot water therapy for his joints and muscles.
Gabe will be adopted as a Sparrow to Hedrick Middle School in Medford. Students at Hedrick will work hard to make a difference in Gabe’s life through sponsored community service and fundraising projects.