Nova Scotia

Young cancer survivor closing in $3,500 goal for Terry Fox Foundation

Young cancer survivor Gabriel Parker-Haines is inspiring others to help beat the disease.

Young Halifax Mooseheads' fan, 7, winner of Scotiabank Young Community Hero Award

Gabriel Parker-Haines, 7, is a cancer survivor who inspires others to help beat the disease by participating in the Terry Fox Run. (Tim Lingley Photography)

His name is Gabriel Parker-Haines and he's just seven years old. But he's no average Grade 2 student.

When he was only 10 months old, Gabriel was diagnosed with cancer and spent a lot of time in hospital.

These days he's cancer-free and is now doing his part to beat the disease.

For the last three years he's been raising money for the Terry Fox Foundation and this year he is closing in on his goal of $3,500.

"It's so Terry can reach his goal," said Parker-Haines. "When I'm older, I'm going to start where he ended and finish his mission."

Fundraising grew in leaps and bounds

Gabriel's fundraising started out with $700 raised in his first attempt, then $900 in year two.

This year his fundraising has rocketed off the charts.

"When your child is diagnosed with cancer or any kind of disease, or to see anything that makes your child sick, it's hard," said Stephanie Parker, Gabriel's mother.

"But now he's helping others because he went through this and he's inspiring others to just be there for each other, I couldn't be more proud."

Gabriel has now snagged some of his best friends to be part of his fundraising team.

"Well, I want to help with Terry Fox, I know he had cancer and I know Gabriel had cancer," said Grade 3 student Jackson Ryan. "So I wanted to help Gabriel."

Scotiabank Young Community Hero Award

Gabriel will take part in the Terry Fox run at his school next week.

"He really stands for giving and so everything Gabriel does is to give back to be a friend to everyone and to help everyone out," said Basin View Community School principal Ken Marchand.

"It's sort of an infectious thing here at Basin View."

Last week Gabriel was named the first ever winner of the Scotiabank Young Community Hero Award.

He got to hang out with the Halifax Mooseheads in their dressing room and was given a team jersey.

"He inspired us," said Mooseheads forward Kelly Bent. "He's raising money for a foundation, he battled leukemia and cancer and I think it was a good inspiration for us to see that even young kids can inspire older people."

The Mooseheads have always been supporters of Gabriel's cancer fundraisers. This year, the team and Scotiabank Centre made a joint $500 donation.

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