Teen designs special shirt to raise money for friend on ventilator

August 09, 2019 04:53 PM

It's a beautiful day at the track in Saratoga and Adirondack Lilly is big favorite.

It's not a horse. It's the name of a print being sold on t-shirts and tote bags. The artist behind it is Gabriel Donovan.


The 16-year-old boy was born with a rare genetic condition called neurofibromatosis that causes tumors to grow on nerve tissue. Due to complications from his diagnosis, he receives services from the Center for Disability Services in Albany.

That's how he met Lilly, a camera shy 14-year-old girl who lives at St. Margaret's Center, a pediatric nursing home that serves ventilator dependent children.

Lilly was in car crash that killed her mother - and left her with injuries that will have her ventilator dependent the rest of her life.

Her dream is to graduate from high school, but she can't without some expensive assistive technology devices.

So Gabe created "Adirondack Lilly" - which bears the phrase, "Although I cannot write, I still have a story to tell." When he showed it to Lilly, she said, "I like it." "You're a real artist."

All proceeds from the shirts will help purchase communication devices for Lilly.

Gabe's mom, who happens to be the president of the New York State Industries for the Disabled, hopes sales do well enough to surpass their initial goal.

So far, the shirts are going like hotcakes. "American Idol" rocker Madison VanDenburg showed off hers on social media - and some of the jockeys at the track are doing the same.

Learn how you can get yours by clicking the link below.

MORE INFORMATION: Help support "Adirondack Lilly"


Jerry Gretzinger

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