Meet the 11-Year-Old Fighting Mitochondrial Disease Named “Most Valuable Patient”

Brandi Lawrey describes her son, Gavin, as a little man because he continually shows bravery and courage well above his age, reports News-Press. Gavin was diagnosed with a rare mitochondrial disease, and while the condition is frightening and difficult, his strength carries him and his family along.

Mitochondrial disease is when a patient’s mitochondria begins to fail. The mitochondria are organelle which provide vital organs with energy, and when they malfunction, it can lead to organ failure. Some of the symptoms that occur are strokes, seizures, digestion complications, as well as developmental delays which affect ones ability to walk, talk and see. It’s been difficult for Gavin to witness his deterioration: one day he’s reading just fine and the next he has lost that ability. He reaches different types of milestones than a kid without the condition; his goals must be adjusted to accommodate his health. Like any other kid, Gavin just wants to live a normal life. This is tough. but, his strong mindset is the rock for his family.
When Gavin undergoes surgery, he’s the calming factor for his family. Right before going into one of his surgeries he put his hand on his mother’s cheek and told her not to cry and to be brave. He proceeded to kiss her on the forehead and told her to kiss him too– an incredibly beautiful and sweet moment for them both. That’s Gavin.
Gavin was awarded with the 25th Boston Red Sox Children’s Hospital Celebrity Classic MVP, or most valuable patient, award. Everyone else recognizes his courage and love as well.

He has continued to be strong for everyone else when they are facing tough situations too. His sister had to get blood draw and was facing troubles, he helped and talked her through it. She returned this love– she’s on a mission to help her brother. Although she’s only 13, she’s already $30,000 into her one million goal to help him Gavin find treatment.

Not only is he kind to his family, Gavin’s a gentleman. When he was just 5-years-old, Gavin had a little girlfriend named Sophie and he planned their first date. He made it very clear that he needed to pay for their lunch. They ordered macaroni and cheese, gave her a flower, and when the bill came he told the waiter to “keep the change”. Wise beyond his years.

While Gavin’s future is unknown, his determination keeps the family strong. When he’s not feeling well, he doesn’t pout, but is very open. He ensures his mother that he’s going to be OK, and he just needs more sleep. Brandi says he’s an old soul, and the most resilient person she’s ever met.

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