Gabriela is a happy-go-lucky, 17 year old from Homer Glen. You can often catch her chowing down on ice cream, hanging out with friends and family, or listening to music—especially top 40 or pop music from her favorite music artist, Lorde. Gabriela maintains an active lifestyle by playing tennis, skiing, and swimming. One thing that’s evident when you meet Gabriela is her intelligence and how super caring she is to everyone around her.
In the fall of 2013, Gabriela’s active lifestyle took a hiatus when she was diagnosed with a severe brain tumor. It was a shock to Gabriela, her mother, father and younger sister. While at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children Hospital of Chicago
, where she was receiving treatment, the family was introduced to the Make-A-Wish Illinois. Shortly after wish granters met with the family, Gabriela says that she instantly knew what would be her wish. She wanted to explore Maui, the island of Hawaii because she had always heard about its black sandy beaches and its beautiful waterfalls.
"The highlight for me was when I sat in front of the luau with my family. We were able to relax and enjoy being together instead of being stressed over medical issues," Gabriela said.
Since Gabriela’s wish was granted, she continues to exemplify strength and how caring she truly is to everyone around her. She recently volunteered her time & energy at the Make-A-Wish Illinois airlines Miles Drive. The drive collected over four million airline miles that will be used to help to grant the wishes of children like Gabriela.
At the Miles Drive, Gabriela was interviewed by a reporter at WGN-TV Chicago. She spoke highly about her wish come true to Hawaii and its impact.
"My family and I talk about the trip all the time. We're always looking at the photos from the trip talk about how happy it made us feel," says Gabriela.