Meet Gabe: 2018 Family Advocacy Day Champion

Gabe is participating at 2018 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day from June 26-27 in Washington, D.C. During the event, Gabe will share information about his health journey and the importance of children’s health care with members of Congress. Below is his story.

Gabe is wise beyond his years. His parents and friends describe him as an “old soul,” and not at all like a typical teenager; that, his parents say, is what makes him special.

Before he had time to grow into the thoughtful young man he is today, Gabe received nearly 50 medical procedures, including two open-heart surgeries, to treat double outlet right ventricle and hypoplastic left ventricle — congenital heart defects. Gabe would not be here today without specialized medical intervention, his condition would have been fatal.

Gabe, who had his first surgery when he was 9 days old, continues to travel to his medical home, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, several times a year for regular checkups, procedures and for any emergent health issues.

At Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Gabe has bonded with his cardiologist, Dr. Cava, over the years. Gabe’s parents speak incredibly highly of Dr. Cava saying, “He cares about our son and his well-being so much, not just his heart-related care. Gabe knows that Dr. Cava takes care of worrying about things. Gabe loves Dr. Cava and truly enjoys going to the hospital to see him and other providers.”

Today, Gabe is a happy 12-year-old who loves reading, watching movies and playing with his twin brother, Jed. Though Gabe will live with his heart condition for his entire life, he has big plans for the future. He dreams of being a doctor himself one day and working to find a cure for congenital heart defects.

Join us in welcoming Gabe to 2018 Family Advocacy Day!

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