1 of 2:
Francis John Gebeline was born
on January 7, 1999. He was a healthy, active and mischievous
little boy. Frankie was one of four children, an older sister
Julianna, and two younger brothers Paul and Jonathan.
was diagnosed on July 24, 2003, with a rare, aggressive,
malignant spinal tumor called a Malignant Peripheral Nerve
Sheath tumor. His tumor was very large and had invaded his T3
and T4 vertebrae, growing around the spinal cord and restricting
the spinal fluid. It had also wrapped around his windpipe. The
chances of developing this type of cancer was .01%, and the
survival rate was 40% over 5 years. This type of tumor is also
notorious for being unresponsive to chemotherapy and radiation.
Over the next 4
years, Frankie fought this horrible disease. He received years
of chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and countless surgeries
in the hopes of one day being cured. He endured mouth sores,
fevers of unknown origin, vomiting, weight loss, hair loss, and
a list of other very serious side effects from his chemotherapy
treatments. Radiation treatment was done at St Judeís Childrenís
Research hospital, where he was separated from his family for an
entire summer. He also had several surgeries, such as a
laminectomy and an invasive spinal surgery attempting to remove
tumor from his body. He spent much of these 4 years in the
This little boy
was a fighter. He loved his family very dearly, including his
extended family a t the hospital-his nurses, doctors, and other
children in the oncology unit and their families. He was a
blessing to our family, and to everyone who ever knew him. He
was full of mischief, humor, strength, and courage.
brought home on hospice care in early March of 2007, paralyzed
from the waist down, with unresponsive lung and spinal tumors, his
4th relapse. He spent those final weeks with his family and loved
ones, until his death on March 28th. He was surrounded by his
whole family, and in the comfort of his own home. He is dearly
missed, as every new day passes. We will never forget him and the
blessings he has brought to our lives (and others). Our
foundation, Frankieís Fight, created in the midst of his
illness, will carry on his legacy and memory.
Story: Part 2 of 2
"A Christmas Story" 2008
it seems Frankie was with me on Christmas this year. While
Paul and the kids were out, I was cleaning up around the
house and making up the kids beds, mom bought them a new
bed set from the WWE, they love wrestling now!; itís the
So I was washing the new bedding, and putting it on the
beds, and after putting the sheets and pillows on, I went
into the basement to wash the comforters. When I came back
up, there was a Dragonball Z action figure smack in the
middle of Paulieís bed that used to belong to Frankie.
The first Christmas after Frankie passed, we brought, what
I thought was all of his action figures to his grave. I
havenít seen a Dragonball Z action figure anywhere in
the house in over a year and a half, and there it was!...
laying on Paulie's bed, after I had just made the bed!~
and no one else was home but me! Made my Christmas!!!!!