In honor of International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we bring you a very special 14-year-old boy, Gabe Sipos, and Gabe's Chemo Duck Program. Born on New Year's Day 2002 in Nashville, Tennessee, Gabe was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma (a soft tissue tumor) in his sinus cavity just one week shy of his first birthday. After weekly chemotherapy treatments for nine consecutive months, 30 radiation treatments and numerous surgeries, Gabe was declared cancer-free just before his second birthday. To help comfort him during his treatments, his mom gave him a stuffed animal duck! Gabe named his chemo duck after a very special friend, then 8 year old Connor Hunley who became like a big brother to Gabe, while they experienced treatment together. Connor ended up passing away from his cancer at the age of 10; making Gabe's chemo duck even more special to him now, as a memory of his friend! This duck eventually became such a source of comfort for him that they wanted other children to experience it too.
Gabe's involvement and commitment to his name-sake program has become an integral part of who he is as a young man. He is very proud of the program his mother created in honor of him and considers Chemo Duck as a special way to preserve the memory of all the friends he made and lost during his journey through the world of childhood cancer. His hope is that every kid living with cancer will enjoy the benefit of having a Chemo Duck companion. The program has given away 27,000 ducks to date!