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Gilberto has Cerebral Palsy & Type 1 Diabetes. Stem cell therapy has the potential to help him in so many ways with both diagnoses.

Hello, my name’s Gilberto and I just turned 10 years old. Most people call me G but my best friends call me G Money, or G$ for short… ;)

I’m kind of launching this appeal on behalf of my dad. His name is Simon and he’s pretty great. Right now, though, he has a lot on his plate. Although we’ve lived in Detroit for years, he’s from England, and being British means he’s never going to ask for help. That doesn’t stop me though.

When I was born I had a lot of problems. I arrived three months early and I only weighed 2 1/2lb. I spent my first three months in the NICU. I don’t remember, but my dad says it was pretty scary.

I have something called Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL). The PVL causes me to have cerebral palsy which leaves me wheelchair bound. But even though I don’t have control over my arms and legs, (although my right arm is pretty good), I’m still pretty hot on the Xbox.

Most of my time is spent in a pretty cool chair that my dad says weighs more than the two of us put together. It’s usually up to dad to lift me in and out of the chair. He helps me use the bathroom, puts me to bed, lifts me in and out of the shower, and gets me up in the morning. It’s actually a pretty good arrangement, certainly as far as I’m concerned : )

I know it’s not easy for him, but I also know he loves me super tons and he never complains — except for when he tells me to stop growing because I’m getting too big. In case you’re wondering, I’m not listening.
Now he has a second problem to deal with. Well OK, we both do. Earlier this year I was told I have Type 1 Diabetes, which is a real drag. As I told my dad at the time, I am tired of this body. It feels broken. I really want a new one.

My dad has had to take on the challenge of keeping my insulin levels in check all the time. He measures, makes, and packs my lunch every day. And he talks to my teachers twice a day to make sure my levels are OK at school. It’s not easy, but he loves me and he does it without complaining.

It’s not just me and dad all the time. There’s Joanna, my stepmom, who helps me a lot. But she has my stepbrother, Tyler, to take care of. Besides being a teenager (Joanna says his room stinks of boys) Tyler had a bad accident this past summer. He banged his head pretty hard and almost died. Now Joanna spends a lot of time helping Tyler out. She still helps me out as well, but it’s much harder for her now. I’m happy to have them living back at home with us though.

And of course there’s my mom who helps me out a bunch too. I live with her in the summertime and she has to do exactly what my dad does for me the rest of the year. She mothers me. But I like it.

Anyway, there’s a real chance that stem cell therapy might make a real difference to both my cerebral palsy and my Type 1 Diabetes. We’re trying to get to see Dr Steenblock. He’s pretty cool. He helped my friend at school who was blind - and now he can see.

Even if the stem cells give me just a little bit more control it will make a HUGE difference for me – and for Dad and the rest of the my family. Every day I’m getting bigger, and every day my dad gets older.

The stem cell treatment is not cheap though.
It’s much more than I can afford. I think it’s too much for my dad too.
I hope you can help.
Thanks.
G. x.

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