GREENSBURG – Gavin “Gabs” Jon Coria, local cancer survivor, is participating in the St. Baldrick’s annual fundraiser to raise money for childhood cancer research, despite the fact that he is still a child himself.
In fact, this is Gavin’s second year taking part in the fundraiser, which he became involved in after his friend, Alan, passed away due to cancer. Alan’s father participated in the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser and Gavin joined in Alan’s memory.
Gavin was born with infantile fibrosarcoma, a rare cancer of the soft tissue. He was diagnosed when he was a month old and had to undergo numerous treatments, surgeries, medications and chemotherapy on his journey to remission, which he reached at four months old.
Since winning his battle against cancer, Gavin strives to deal with the aftermath and to educate others about all the issues survivors must face after beating the disease. In addition to its connection to Alan, Gavin and his family chose St. Baldrick’s because they operate with transparency and 100 percent of funds raised go to children’s hospitals across the country to be used for research.
Last year, Gavin raised over $1,000, which all went toward researching a cure for the many types of childhood cancer. Gavin’s goal for this year is to raise $2,000. Unfortunately, there have been much less donations this year and only $100 has been collected.
Medical problems in the family have prevented Gavin from promoting his fundraiser as much as he did last year, which is one reason for the lower donation amount. In four days, he will make a video of his head being shaved and upload it to his St. Baldrick’s page. While the $100 already collected is enough for Gavin to happily shave his head, more funds would delight him.
Gavin is passionate about helping raise money to (hopefully) one day prevent another child from experiencing cancer like he did. Gavin’s mother, Jodie Louthain, said he plans to continue taking part in the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser every year to raise money for research.