JEFFERSON COUNTY, OHIO (WTRF) – One brave young man in Toronto, Ohio got a very special gift Wednesday night thanks to A Special Wish Foundation. Gabriel is 5 years old, and he suffers from a disease called MPS II, or Hunter’s Syndrome (Mucopolysaccharidosis type 2).


MPS II is a very rare disease, with only about 500 cases among children across the US, and there is no cure. Gabriel lacks an enzyme that breaks down complex sugar molecules, so that waste builds up in his cells.


Because of developmental setbacks from the disease, Gabriel tends to wander, so playing outside was extremely difficult. A Special Wish got him a new play set that features a special swing just for Gabriel, and they installed a fence around it to keep everyone safe.

“With our wish we thought really hard about something that was going to benefit him long term. Not just one particular day or one particular week….so having the fence, he’s able to play in the yard just like every other kid, every day.”

Autumn Reese, Gabriel’s Mom

“We grant wishes to local children in the Ohio Valley area that have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. So every wish we grant is here in the Valley.”

Annmarie O’Grady, Executive Director of A Special Wish

Team Automotive sponsored the playset, and installed it. A local company from Toronto sponsored the fence, but they chose to remain anonymous.


If you would like to support A Special Wish, check out the Lip Sync Challenge at the Capitol Theatre on October 15th. You can also visit their website for more information.