Gabrielle's Story

Images Captured by Matt Brennen Photography

Meet Tiny Light Gabrielle.  She is strong, she is calm, and she is beautiful.  Gabrielle enjoys smiling, babbling, watching her brothers play, looking lovingly at her daddy when he holds her, and relaxing at the sight of her mom. 

It was apparent that something was wrong at birth, and from there, the family was sent to the NICU at BC’s Children Hospital for testing.  Within the span of a week and a half, Gabrielle had to undergo test after test until her diagnosis was determined.  Gabrielle was born with I-Cell disease, which is a lysosomal storage disease.  This means that she is missing an enzyme that helps the cells in her body to clean up waste.  Over time, the waste can build up and begin to damage all organs in the body; it is thought that perhaps bone marrow or stem cell transplants may help to delay or correct the neurological deterioration that occurs with I-Cell disease. 

Being told that your new baby daughter has a terminal illness was the worst news they have ever received, but each family member has grown tremendously and the family has become stronger and closer as a whole.  While there are many milestones Gabrielle will likely not hit, her family instead chooses to focus on the ones that she will and to celebrate them fully.  They feel that they have been given a gif, and are hopeful that a recent transplant will greatly improve Gabrielle’s quality of life.

For the future, they will continue to support one another and fill their lives with love, laughter, trips to the beach, and fun with the family.  For Gabrielle, specifically, it is a promise of kisses and hugs non-stop for the rest of her life. 

Story by Kristi Hall-Busque