AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado car owners can now buy a license plate that will help in finding a cure for childhood cancer. The new specialty plate is the result of a year-long effort driven by a teenage brain tumor survivor.
Gabe Santistevan, 14, of Aurora is thrilled that his vision is becoming a reality. Not only will it bring awareness to childhood cancer, but proceeds from the sale will help those battling the disease and fund research to find a cure.
“There’s millions of cars,” said Gabe.
And the car-crazy teenager wants them all to sport the new license plate. It has a gold ribbon and the words “Cure Childhood Cancer.” It started with Gabe.
“‘I just kept thinking and thinking on ways to spread awareness (about kids and cancer),” Gabe told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
Gabe was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 9. He had surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
“Horrible, it was hard to go through, and there was many side effects,” said Gabe.
The teen is now cancer free, and after a long year of petitions and hearings, Gabe’s license plate was signed into law.
“It’s fantastic,” said Joan Slaughter, Founder and Executive Director of The Morgan Adams Foundation.
Slaughter has been fighting to cure childhood cancer since her 6-year-old daughter, Morgan, died of a brain tumor in 1998.
“It is so hard to watch your kid suffer,” said an emotional Slaughter.
Her foundation will benefit from the sale of Gabe’s license plate.
“There are 43 kids diagnosed with cancer every day,” explained Slaughter.
So, a minimum donation of $43 will buy the new plate. Part of the proceeds will support research.
“To cure all forms of pediatric cancer,” said Slaughter.
Sale of the plates will also help fund “Cops Fighting Cancer.” That organization made Gabe an honorary police officer in 2014. Gabe is a little bit surprised by his accomplishment. and he feels good steering his struggle into a crusade to help other children battle cancer, one car at a time.