Aurora teen fighting cancer wants new license plate to fund research for childhood cancer
AURORA, Colo. — Gabriel Santistevan wants to put a daily reminder about childhood cancer right in front of thousands of Colorado motorists.
While he’s going through his own fight with cancer, the Aurora teen has designed a unique way to help other families going through the same struggle.
He and his mom are petitioning the state for a custom license plate to support the Morgan Adams Foundation and Cops Fighting Cancer. The Aurora based group of police officers have supported Gabe and other families for 15 years.
Gabe was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer at 9 years old and his future was in doubt.
“He went through chemo, radiation he had a craniotomy to remove tumor,” said his mother Kathleen Santistevan. “And he’s been struggling with health issues ever since he’s now 13.”
“I thought that if I just keep fighting,” Gabe told FOX31. “And everybody a lot of people pray and I pray just the cancer would never come back.”
For Gabe and his mom it’s been an uphill struggle along with other families fighting the same fight.
“When this first started out, we were in the hospital and saw so many kids. There’s an entire floor in Children’s Hospital of kids fighting cancer. We had no idea,” Kathleen said fighting back tears. “I didn’t know that he was going to survive I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
To help raise money for research they came up with a license plate design featuring a gold ribbon that reads “Cure Childhood Cancer.”
They’re petitioning Rep. Diana DeGette and Rep. Mike Coffman along with State Rep. Crisanta Duran and need 3,000 signatures by Sept. 1 to qualify.
“We came up with the license plate because we don’t see gold anywhere we don’t see awareness about childhood cancer,” Gabe said.
“We want people to know that there are kids fighting that we do need to support research and we do need to help the families out there that are struggling,” Kathleen added.
One fourth of childhood cancers like Gabe’s are brain tumors.
And while cures are increasing, 35 percent will still not survive diagnosis.
“I would just say keep fighting and keep believing and there’s always hope,” Kathleen says she’d tell parents facing her situation.
For more information on their effort and to sign the petition electronically, click here.