Gabriel's, life changing, journey began in late August during a family vacation. Hanna, Gabriel's mom, found a large lump on his testicle and immediately contacted the family pediatrician. Upon returning home from their vacation, Hanna had an appointment for Gabriel and within a few days was being referred to UC Davis Children's Hospital.
Victor and Hanna Carbajal, Gabriel's parents, made the trip to UC Davis expecting a simple surgery to remove the tumor, but had no thought of anything more. During surgery it was clear that the tumor was more involved and required futher testing.
A few days later the phone rings, Hanna answers and hears the words no parent is ever prepared for to hear. "Gabriel's tumor was cancerous". Rhabdomyo-Sarcoma, testicular cancer.
Hanna's words..."I can't explain how I felt in that moment. I was shocked. I was trying to process it all. I felt like throwing up and like someone hit me so hard I couldn't breathe."
And so the long road for Victor, Hanna, Gabriel and Tori begins....
While tests show no signs of the cancer in other areas of his body, the physicians are taking the proactive approach to kill any remaining cells that may not be visible. This will require Gabiel to undergo chemotherapy treatments for the next 10 months or longer. He will be traveling to UC Davis Children's Hospital each week for the next several months.
Gabriel underwent surgery in October to have a port put into his chest for receiving his Chemotherapy medications. (It is better for children to have this rather than being pricked each time they have this procedure preformed.)
He received his first round of chemo the same day as his surgery and had a rough time initially, but through much prayer and great care, he returned home to recover. Each chemo session will be different depending on his health and how he reacts and may require more time in the hospital to recover before returning home.
Gabriel was recently rushed to UC Davis via ambulance as his little body was having difficulty fighting all that comes with these harsh chemo treatments. He devoloped a fever and his blood counts were low and upon receiving wonderful care at Mark Twain Medical Center, was transferred back down to UC Davis.
Not only is this journey proving to be emotionally draining but also, very expensive for Gabriel's family. While Victor is blessed to have insurance, it doesn't cover much of the unexpected expenses that have derived from Gabriel's diagnosis. There are many co-payments from surgery, cheomotherapy treatments, medications, gas, food and sometimes lodging that will need to be covered over the next 10 months to a year.
At the, very, young age of 6, Gabriel is wise beyond his years. His precious spirit is providing support to those who are caring for him and those he comes in contact with. He is surrounded by his parents, grandparents, "Papa and Mimi", aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. All are praying for God to give them strength and courage to fight this fight with Gabriel and that he continues to be a shining light to so many.
Please join me in blessing this young family by helping them during their time of need.
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