Posted 11:24 AM 2/19/2013 : Boy battles rare life threatening illness looks to help others
At the age of 7, a Canon City boy has been forced to endure more than most adults. Gabriel Holley is battling tuberous sclerosis complex (also known as TSC) and doctors say he is terminal. But that's not stopping him from living everyday to the fullest, and now, giving back to other sick children so they can do the same.
"He's always laughing, always upbeat. Doesn't let him keep it down at all," says step-father Donnie Bilbrey.
Gabriel loves video games, likes to act goofy, and can't seem to get enough love from his Chihuahua. But unlike most 7 year old children, Gabriel has been forced to fight for his life, every minute of every day.
"He knows that he does have a disease, and he could go any time, that's why we want to do everything that he wants to do in life- and be happy all the time. We don't want to live life sad or anything" says Gabriel's mother, Rebecca.
She says her pregnancy with Gabriel wasn't easy. At 6 months, he was diagnosed with TSC when doctors found a tumor in his brain.
"From there,.something else has progressed. From kidney tumors to the heart tumors, and now we just found out he has a tumor on his stomach."
TSC is a genetic disorder that causes tumors all over the body. Some people live their entire lives with TSC and without complications, but in Gabriel's case, it's much worse. His tumors are inoperable and there's no cure.
Gabriel has practically grown up in the hospital and in turn, acquired what feels more like a second family. That's why he helped set up a donation drive for Children's Hospital Colorado at Memorial Hospital.
So far the family has received donations from across Southern Colorado, even from out of state and say they can't wait to pass along the new toys, coloring books and crayons to other sick children.
If you'd like to help, a Facebook page has been set up.