Five-year-old Gabriel Abela is a Maltese boy who has finally started walking, and his parents have just gotten the ultimate bittersweet news. While their son being diagnosed with cerebral palsy means years of hardships and challenges are ahead, his parents Mario and Marcelle were relieved to find out Gabriel doesn’t suffer from something much worse.
In this video shared by Television Malta yesterday, Marcelle explained how they initially suspected (and feared) that Gabriel suffered from Leukodystrophy, an extremely rare disease which only affects around one in 400,000 people and sees children rarely live more than 10 years of age. A couple of years ago, the family was featured on different news portals, talking about Gabriel, Leukodystrophy, and about how they need to enjoy each and every moment as it might be Gabriel’s last. In comparison, this recent development is ironically good news.
The Abela family at a TV interview back in 2014. Gabriel was still 2 years old here.
“We were relieved and happy with this news because it meant we get to enjoy our son for longer,” said Marcelle. The road to Gabriel’s first steps was however not an easy one, with this moment coming after years of special therapy with both Maltese and Scottish specialists.
“We know that we’re just a small fraction of all the parents out there who are struggling and in pain,” Marcelle concluded. “Together as parents, we not only encouraged each other, but we also got stronger together because we saw our children making new movements.”