13-YEAR OLD-PHILANTHROPIST - GIOVANNI DIAGNOSED with a DEVASTATING BRAIN TUMOR Giovanni Colon, a13-year-old philanthropist and local hero spends most days thinking up creative ideas to help others since age 6 by arranging food drives, feeding the homeless, supporting church efforts and making up gift boxes for the soldiers in Afghanastan. (Pictures at bottom) Now, he is in for the fight of his life and needs your help.
My only child Giovanni was Diagnosed Christmas 2016 with a Glioma Brain Tumor located on the left frontal lobe where his emotions and judgment are. Neuro Data Analyst Byron Bernal PH.D at the Brain Institute at Nicklous Childrens Hospital in Miami found rare long cables that lite up like a christmas tree extending from the tumor wrapping around the visual and audio part of his brain. The Brain Tumor and cables are causing horrific visual and audio hallucinations he can't escape from even in his sleep giving him night terrors and hallucinations 24 hours a day. A very serious situation to have a child with a brain tumor but also compounded with rare dangerous cables that have spread to the opposite side of the brain.
The specialized team at the Brain Institute at Nicklaus Childrens Hospital in Miami which includes Chief of Neuro-Oncology Dr. Khatib, explained his tumor needs to be removed now and waiting will only involve more risk to Giovanni. My son has lost his quality of life. Giovanni asks me if he will keep getting sicker from his tumor. The most painful reality is yes. His Brain Tumor is treatable now with surgery.
Gio needs you, your help and small donation of $10, $25, to help make surgery and treatment happen immediatly. You can make a difference by watching your donation help pay for Brain Surgery, MRI's, After Care/Treatment, Medications, Neuro-Oncologist/Neuro-Surgeon, Medical, Airfare, Accomodations, Cabs and Meals. Donate now and follow his progress on www.facebook.com/gofundme.giovannicolon
There it was. The undeniable white spot gleaming at us. A parents worst fear for their child. A brain tumor and unknown future. Our world had stopped. Our hearts shattered. Fear so powerful it was paralizing. My son looked at me for confirmation that he would be ok. Holding back tears I bravely said yes, because there is always a solution and we have one. Surgery. I'll find a way. Even at 13 he knew how serious this was. He cried and said, I don't want to die mom. I held his face and promised. I won't let that happen.
The seriousness of the situation and expenses became very real. How am I going to be able to do this? I am a single parent. He not only has a Brain Tumor but is also a Type One Diabetic and Asthmatic. I found that for the first time in my life I needed help. I needed to ask for a small donation. My son and I need you. We can't do it alone. Our journey began. We flew Giovanni to Boston Children's Hospital in Massachusetts. The #1 hospital in the US that specializes in Pediatric Glioma Brain tumors. Dr. Kiernan Director and leader in the field of Glioma Brain Tumors evaluated Giovanni . He then personally reached out to The Brain Institite at Nicklaus Children's Hospital for specialiezed tests. After five diferent type of MRI's and innovative technigues used during a Functional MRI and a week long EEG a plan was put togther to save my son. Brain Surgery would be done by Chief of Neuro-Surgery Dr. Ragheb, Neuro Imaging Data Specilaist Mango Guillen PH.D and the extensive team.
Gio was energetic, a boxer and loved the outdoors camping. He had great grades in school, was on Student Counsel, joined clubs likes First Priority, was the camera man at church and did charity.
Over the course of a year my son changed dramatically. Extreme fatigue, severe migraines, double vision, hallucinations, blood pressure of 235/125, loss of concentration, unpredictable mood swings, irrational responses to rational situations, pain and could no longer attend regular school. I kept telling the Dr.s something is seriuosly wrong. My child is now hallucinating! I went by my motherly instinct and asked for an Brain MRI. WE NOW KNOW: The Neuro-Oncologist in Boston and Nicklaus Childrens explained these symtoms are the side effects of his brain tumor and pressure on his brain and if surgery is done quickly he should recover. Dr. Kieran stated If delayed he may not as the brain will be further damaged by the spread of the tumor and he can remain in this state.He asks, "Why did this happen to me? I am only 13 years old. I am scared.
I said, God will prevail, community will prevail, you will prevail and share this story as a testimony to help other kids when you have graduated college and speak to others giving hope as it was once given to you. Colon’s aren’t quitters. We are fighters! It’s just a different type of boxing glove you have on now.
From Teresa, Giovanni's Godmother and founder of his Gofundme: "His mother Jennifer is a very dear and close friend I have known since long before her son was born. She is a single parent, completely dedicated to the care of her son. Gio's mom Jennifer says, "It is a very deep dark pain and I am faced with questions no mother should ever have to answer or pain no child should ever have to feel." It is with our deep faith in God, we ask for prayer, strength, and the financial support for this remarkable boy. We need to raise $50,000 to cover his immediate surgery, treatment and follow up care. Any small contribution of $10, $25, $50 will help pay for life saving surgery and treatments. You can see the immediate impact your donation makes by following Gio on www.facebook.com/gofundme.giovannicolon Please donate now so Gio can have surgery because time is not on his side. Thank you, Giovanni, Jennifer and Teressa.
Gio has his arms folded.;-)
We are asking that you Please Donate, Pray, Post and Pass on Facebook /Twitter. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts! God Bless.
Located below are some of the 90 charity/fundraiser events Gio has started and/or participated in. Let's Rally Together and help this boy who has dedicated his short life to helping others. You can make a diffefrence.
Having a good time with friends!
This was very cool!
Can you guess which one is me?
My favorite charity event. CARE PACKAGES FOR OUR SOLDIERS in KANDAHAR in AFGHANISTAN. The most dangerous road in the world: I raised and gathered the donations and Dr. Evan at Specific Chiropractic paid to have them shipped. The poster says, "Our Community Loves our Soldiers! I want a career in the Military. I want to serve our great country!
Christmas dinner for the Homeless. Our most forgotten 2016.
Bearded Bob the homeless man under the bridge by my house. Bringing socks, towels, a bible and this is a a pix of the meal I made for him.
Homeless Care Packages: Getting ready to pack some care packages for the homeless under the bridge by my house. Each care package has food, cookies, snacks, gallon juice, a letter of hope and love, mouth wash, deoderant, soap, paper towels, towels and socks.
Homeless Care packages: Four food boxes for the homeless under the bridge by my house. Fried chicken, salad, rice, muffins and gallon teas. Check out my shirt! It's Call to Duty but not what you think. Not the video game. The ultimate Sacrafice. Jesus
Homeless Care Packages: I was gathering supplies for the homeless by my house under the bridge. Hygiene products, clothes and biscuts.
5k Charity Run 2016 for NAMI.
Volunteered with Two Rivers Church to put shoe boxes of love together for kids in Africa for Samaritians Purse. There were about 25 of us that went.
Painting community curbing to give back and improve the community. I got a $5.00 tip from a Veteran who was very appreciative
Thanksgiving Baskets of Hope. Packing baskets with food and a gift card so families in need can have a wonderful Thanksgiving. My friends, Minister's Tricia and Pete started Baskets of Hope. She passed away but her legacy goes on.
Here I am at 9 years old at the same event. Thanksgiving Baskets of Hope. I helped raise truck loads of food to support this event. Still going strong 7 years later volunteering at Thanksgiving!
Sharing a Smile. Heather from Gamestop had to work Easter and could not be with her children so I made her a card and baked her brownies and dropped them off to her. I wanted her to know she was thought of. She is awesome!
Raised money and donated bags of cereal to Elevating Word Church Pastor DJ to support familes in need.
Cleaning up a community with friends from A Place in Time Christian Ministries: The over growth was so bad the plants dragged on the pavemnet, the fence panels were hanging off and some missing, rocks everywhere. I am holding the last of 8 bags we threw away.
Clothing and Food Drive: We packed the car so tight front and back with donations from a food and clothing drive I sponsored I almost didn't fit! We were taking them to A Pace in Time Christian Minitries Bread of Life Food Panrty.
Donating and supporting our Monks in our community. They preach peace and love. It is an amazing experience there.
Donating food to those that share peace. The Monks.They rely on food donations to eat daily.
Making cupcakes to go door to door to pass along a smile. 'Love thy Neighbor"
I convinced Coldstone to serve ice cream to the heros on the cancer floor at Joe DiMaggio Childrens Hospital.
Mayor Ortis and Me! He is awesome and pretty cool! I was there to honor and shake the hands of our Veterens. Our Heros!
Appreciating our Police! Lieutenant Montgomery rocks!
Bringing fresh hot coffee in the moring to our Police Officers who risk their lives every day for us.
Raised 400 toothbrushes and donated to the Broward
Outreach Center for the Homeless.
Made 200 insane salads and served them to the homeless at the Broward Outreach Center for the Homeless in Hollywood. My boyscout pack and my friends came to help.
I helped raise the money and worked out a deal with a local resturant to buy chicken and all the fixings for 200 homeless residents and served them at the Broward Outreach Center for the homeless in Hollywood. We are not allowed to take pictures of the residents but they are great people!
My hands are on top cutting the vegtables! We made soup for 200 and served it at the Broward Outreach for the Homeless in Hollywood.
We make 200 cards every Christmas for the homeless at the Hollywood Outreach Center in Hollywood. My friend Griffin, his sister and mom Lisa made these cards to take with us. They each had special messages for our friends.
Raised and donated Sports Equipment for my class since the school could only afford one basketball for recess.
Prayed for toys and Walmart came through HUGE! 1,400 toys! Donated them to A Place In Time Christian Ministries to pass out for Chirtmas and birthdays for families in need and to take on their hospital visits to see sick kids like they did for me.
Donated 24 backpacks to Calvery Church on behalf of my teacher Ms. Smith. I really loved her as my teacher. I miss her even today.
My teacher Ms. Cretu and her daughter. When I found out there was a family in need at school, I told Ms. Cretu we needed to help. She donated the money and I shopped for the food.
My couselor at School Ms. Cabrara. She told me about some families that were in need for Thanksgiving. Well, I went into action and donated 8 boxes of food and $200.00. You can't see it all - but it's there.
Winn Dixie food drive(s) Rick the manager welcomes us back every year before Thanksgiving.
Publix food drive(s).
Publix Food Drive. It took me one year of asking Bill the manger (in the picture) and getting approval from their legal Department but we did it! Once he saw we didn't give up and got approval he became a great supporter of our food drives and invited us back many times.
I helped organize a Community Fence Painting Party to improve local neighborhoods and raise funds and canned food donations for Bread of Life Food Pantry.
Center Picture: Left to Right: Then Vice Mayor and current commissioner Carly Hattan, Mayor Judy Paul and the fantastic Commissioner Lisa Mallozzi! They all came out to support my event. They are always supporting our community 100%. Bill's Interiors (in Blue) donated the men, the equipment and the day without pay to support this community event. His wife Christine is a minister of Women Supporting Women and they supprt the community. We raised almost $800.00 plus bags and bags if canned goods.
Collected donated buckets from "Fire House Subs" for paint for the Community Fence Painting Event.
Fresh baked bread for families coming through the food line for monthly food boxes.
I wrote to Congress to pass a bill I created to approve ONE DAY a year to have every school in the United States volunteer and give back to the community. My principle Mr. Sciullo helped me with this.
Food Drive outside Walmart! UNREAL support from the community. Truck loads of food were raised!
Sponsored a Food Drive/Clothing Drive inside Walmarts employee lounge. The emplyees were very giving. Al (top picture) is the supervisor and opened the door to make this and other food drives possible.
Raising $1.00 at a time for loaves of bread for families in need with the help of local businesses like Ascot Uniforms.
Volunteering at Tour De Cure for Diabetes passing out medals as they come through the finish line. I am a Type One Diabetic on an insulin pump.
First Aide Kits donated to the Sunshine Group Aftercare for lower income families.
Donated Batman toys to Route 29 Batman so he can pass them out at hospitals for sick kids. Anyone remember Route 29 Batman? If you don't know who he is look up on you tube. Yes, thats the 1969 Batmobile at my house. It really did shoot flames out the back like in the tv shows. RIP Lenny.
Collecting cans of food door to door: Mom got mad at the kids in the neighboorhood, including me, who were complaining there was nothing to do. She said, grab some bags kids, you won't be bored any more. She had us ALL walk door to door collecting cans of food for families in need. We donated it to Bread of Of Life Food Pantry. We actually had a good time doing it.
Raising food for families in need.
Toothpaste for the Broward Outreach Center for the Homeless.
Raising food and money for Thanksgiving food baskets for families in need.
One family came over and we donated the baskets of food, thanks to the help of my dentists wife. Mrs. Barr donated money to buy food and gave $200.00 so the parents could buy Christmas gifts for their children. They took in three children who's parents had left them behind.
Donating food and gift card to a humble, nice women in need.
Donated clothes: A student had very dirty clothes a lot so I asked my mom to buy him clothes. We found out they were on the verge of living in their car. I never said I donated them. I just gave them to my teacher to pass along to him.
I helped raise money for my friend Calvin's brain tumor when I was 10 years old never imagining three years later I would be raising funds for my own brain tumor on gofundme. Calvin lost his battle in late 2016.
Fundraiser at Focus Hair Salon to raise bread for families in need.
Donated 40lbs of carrots.
Below: I pass out homemade angels donated from Angels of Hope to people like my teacher whose niece has Cystic Fribrosis.
Walmart doanted a pallet of mystery boxes to me. They contained yarn which was made into blankets for cancer patients, household items for Veterans who went from homeless to housing and so much more. The boxes were donated to A Place in Time Christian Ministries for people in need.
Filling food boxes for the monthly distribution for families in need. Been volunteering for 7 years there.
Raised and donated over 400 books and donated them to the Salvation Army, A Place inTime Christian Ministries and the Davie Library.
Raised and donated diabetic meters to families in need.
Donated groceries, a coloring book and princess wand to a family who's dad walked out on them.
Donated fifteen dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts with the help of Jim the owner and helped with the fundraiser stand for Make a Wish.
I donate one week's allowance monthly to buy bread for families in need.
Donated to I-9 Sports baseball helmet decals for the launch of their reach to underprivileged kids program.
Home Depot donated a gift card to buy supplies for the community improvement event I sponsored.
Sherwin Williams donated supplies for a community improvement event I sponsored. I am picking them up.
Hot Diggity donated the hotdogs, buns and chips for an event I sponsored to help raise canned goods and donations for families in need. I was picking up the food in this pix. The owner in the picture is a wonderful God filled women. She has a new bible verse on a white board outside her door every day. It says, If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. John 1-18. We raised almost $800.00 and bags and bags of groceries that day.
Pink Budda Resturant was a part of a charity event I sponsored. We used the plastic quart conatiners to fill paint and pass them out when cleaing up the communy.
Pizza Loft Jeff Cohen and Me: He supports our community! I was picking up a gift certificate for a free give away for the volunteers that helped clean up the community while raising funds for food for families in need.
Picking up ice donated by my friend and owner at Farm Stores for an event I sponsored to feed families in need.
Packing hundreds of katchup and mustard packets for the hotdogs"Hot Diggity" donated for a charity event I sponsored.
Picking up the pinata Party City donated for a community event I was sponsoring to feed families in need and improve a community. It was a family day. That's the manager. He is great!
Picking up a gift card Best Buy donated as part of a free give away for all the volunteers who showed up to help paint at the community event I sponsored.
Picking up flyers at Fed Ex for my events I sponsor. Tamara is awesome! Thanks Fed Ex for the great discounts!
Broward Printing making it possble for me to to what I do by donating postcard flyers. That's the owner.
Donated shampoo and conditioner to the Broward Outreach Center for the Homeless in Hollywood.
Donated 3 Cruises for my schools silent auction and raised $750.00
Donated cans of tuna and cookies to "One Voice" who goes out and feeds the homeless on the streets.
Donated organic fresh vegetables provided by Maranda Farms to A Place in Time Bread of Life Food Pantry.
Crayons for an orphanage in Guatemala. My mom's friend Doreen was going on a Christian missions trip.
Free Cruises on Carnival to say thank you to my many business supporters! They loved them!
I ask for donations to feed families in need.
A donation check to A Place in Time Christian Ministries Bread of Life Food Pantry for a community fundraiser I sponsored. $650.00 big ones!
Be the person you invision yourself to be! It simply takes action and commitment. Never say, wow look what that person does. I wish I could do that. You can. Just pray, act and step out and do. Do not make excuses not to. MAKE EXCUSES TO DO! Spread God and hope by action.
The coolest mom and Me.
Baptized: In it late 2016 at the beach! Pastor Keith is on the right. He and his wife pastor Stonia have been here to see me since we got the news.
Gotta have a little fun!
My dog is a professional gamer! I rescued him at 'Clear the Shelters" Human Society. He now has a forever home since December 2015. Don't let him fool you. The neighbors nicknamed him "Cugo" after the movie, He is very protective.;-)
My dad came to see me as he always does Christmas Eve 2016. He lives 4 hours away.
A message from Giovanni:
None of these charity events would be possible without the many donations of wonderful people and local busineses and places like A Place In Time Christian Ministries and Broward Outreach Center for the Homeless to facilitate it. Donations given to me with love to share love. Each month I think of a way to better the world and share God in action. I put a plan together with my mom and discuss how to execute it . Then. I go out and make it happen.
There are so many pictures that haven't been posted but we will try to get to them soon since they are more current. I do charity events small or large once a month minimum.
Sometimes events are small like writing a personal card of inspiration the the homeless, putting awesome care packages together for our soldiers in Kandahar in the middle east or on a grander scale, raising a lot of food and I do mean a lot! Truck loads. It's my way of giving back. My mom says we are to be our brothers keeper no matter someones age, gender, race, religion, sexual preference or economic status. All people are worthy of love, compassion and dignity. It's what God calls us to do. God is an action word. We must act and we must be consistant. We are all praying to the same supreme being in charge whether we realize it or not. God.
Mom says when we all do a little we can accomplish a lot and she is right! My mom doesn't always feel well because of RA. She has a hard time with her hands and standing/sitting because of her back and leg. She tires easily so I take the reigns and do the hard part. She makes the calls to gather the troops to help. She gives direction. She's good at that. lololo I hope I have inspired you to want to help others in your community. I hope I have inspired you to donate and share. This time I need you. Please donate. Thank you friends and family. Gio
Diabetes, asthma and serious allergies never stopped me!
Ahoy Matey! I was at Disney and got very sick. I found out I was a Type One Diabetic. I would need insulin shots every day for the rest of my life to live.My cousinWe are only limited by what we tell ourselves.I am because I believe I am. I am because I pray I am, I am because of my family. I am because of my teachers. I am because of my community support. I am because of my church support. I am because of my friends support. I am becasue of God and my guardian angels support. I am because there is a need and as a child of God I am called to act. Therefore, I do.