• Cancer

    In the Loop: Gabe’s bell to ‘honor the fighting, remember the resting, and party on with the survivors’

In the Loop patient Gabe CarranzaGabe Carranza walked into the lobby on the 16th floor of the Mayo Building. It was a walk he'd made more times than he could count over the past three years and 70 days. But this walk was different. It marked the end of Gabe's treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The lobby was filled with family, friends and members of Gabe's care team, all on hand to cheer on the 9-year-old as he rang a bell to signify the end of this part of his story. "I don't know how to describe it really," he tells KAAL-TV. "A lot was going through my mind."

Gabe was the first to ring the bell, a gift he and his family had recently donated. He'd heard about "some fellow warrior friends who were able to ring the bell and celebrate being done with radiation," Gabe's mom, Andrea Carranza, tells us. Gabe thought all kids having cancer treatment — not just those receiving radiation — should have a bell to ring. So he asked his oncologist, Vilmarie Rodriguez, M.D., if he could donate one to the place he'd spent so much time: Mayo's Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. Dr. Rodriguez's response? "Wonderful idea!" Other families with children facing cancer told the Carranzas they liked the idea, too.

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This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.