Bringing Joy to Cancer Survivor Gia with the Garden of Dreams FoundationK
ids ask for lots of things during the Christmas season. Last year, all Gia Gentile wanted from Santa was to be cancer-free. Gia was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer that affects kids between the ages of 1 and 6, on November 1, 2016. Over the past year, she and her family have been fighting and fundraising.
Gia’s mom and dad connected with Band of Parents, a non-profit organization started by families who desperately wanted better treatment for their children who were battling neuroblastoma, who helped them greatly. The Gentile family was able to raise over $150,000 through a GoFundMe page, a Spirit Week at school, and a gala held in Gia’s honor. And in October of 2017, Gia’s wish came true: she showed no evidence of disease and is cancer-free.
Band of Parents was able to help out the Gentiles one more time. They teamed up with the Garden of Dreams Foundation, which helped give Gia and her family a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Christmas Spectacular.
Escorted by two Rockettes, Gia and her sister got a glimpse of all the backstage magic—from reindeer hats to Santa’s sleigh. The biggest surprise of all, however, was getting to be a part of the show itself. Gia, her mom and her sister got to sit on a bench onstage during the “New York at Christmas” scene behind the ice skating rink, and watching the ensemble dance away!