By Jarrod Harris
Times West Virginian
North Marion High School’s boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have found a way to give back to the community.
This time, it’s not just giving back — it’s impacting a life.
The teams have combined to raise money for their 2013 charity, Huskies for Gabbi.
“We chose Gabbi this year,” committee member Tara Wilson said. “We’re selling T-shirts and all of the proceeds will go to her. This will be from the girls’ and the boys’ basketball team.”
Cancer is one of those words that makes individuals feel sympathy for the victim; however, it’s different for Gabbi Cook. Why? Because she hasn’t even reached the age of 3.
“She’ll be 3 in May,” Wilson said.
Cook has a disease called hepatoblastoma, which is a long name for liver cancer.
Typically, hepatoblastoma targets children from the ages of 0-3.
“We found out on Aug. 17 of 2012,” Cook’s grandfather, Randy Cook, said. “That’s when the doctors found something, and then they diagnosed it three days later.
“That one phone call changed our lives completely. Things have been different since then. She’s in Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital. She was out of the hospital for a few days and in the Ronald McDonald House next door.”
Even though Gabbi Cook was diagnosed in August, the boys’ basketball team didn’t find out about her condition until Dec. 12, right before the Fairmont Senior-North Marion rivalry game.
“We found out before the West Side game,” North Marion starting shooting guard Cameron Wilson said. “When we played West Side, it was a pretty big deal because we beat them. We haven’t beaten them for a long time, and this is when all of this stuff started happening. Since then we’ve been writing her name on our shoes, and we wanted to get involved.”