She has devoted her life to helping others. Now, Gabrielle Ford needs your help.
The Former Fenton resident and anti-bully advocate recently broke her leg during a biking accident. Ford was riding a specially-designed bike with her dog alongside of her. Her dog took off towards another dog, and as the bike began rolling backwards, with Ford's foot locked in the pedals, her leg and ankle broke in eight places.
And that’s just the
start of her family’s of hard times. Their medical and living
expenses are adding up and Ford’s mother Rhonda Hillman doesn’t know what to
do. Her husband beat cancer eight years ago, but it recently returned. He is
scheduled to undergo chemotherapy and radiation the same time Gabe is scheduled
for a third surgery on her ankle. The hospitals visits and care are causing
Hillman to miss work.
Friends have set up a Go Fund Me campaign to help the family that now lives in Florida.
“I feel bad, but my friend set up the donation page, and told me to accept help because I was so desperate,” Hillman said.
Doctors diagnosed Ford with Friedriech's Ataxia (FA) at age 12. About one in 50,000 people in the United States have FA, a debilitating, life-shortening, degenerative neuro-muscular disorder that weakens the body's muscles, which even can make speaking difficult. She uses a wheelchair, but recently her family has been forced to live in a home that isn’t wheelchair accessible, making it difficult for Ford to move around.
Ford has traveled the country spreading the message that unlike her disease and many others, bullying is a choice. Her message has reached many as she has appeared in Animal Planet’s A Pet Story, Cosmopolitan Magazine, The Today Show, Guideposts Magazine, and MDA’s Quest Magazine. She also has an award-winning memoir titled Still Dancing.
She also has a new book, Gabe & Izzy, coming out in March that her family believes will help their situation.
“We just need to get through this hurdle,” Hillman said. "She's always had a very special bond with Fenton."
You can read more about Ford on Patch.
You can donate to her family on Go Fund Me.