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Young girl with arthritis starts soccer camp

December 3, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
An aspiring soccer player, this week's Cool Kid, Gabe Guefen, was diagnosed with a form of juvenile arthritis. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she turned her newfound extra time into starting a soccer camp for kids with arthritis, and becoming a tutor in the Readers Are Leaders program."I love working with younger kids. I think you can really inspire them and touch them, and teach them so much with your knowledge," said Gabe.

Gabe is a sophomore at Vistamar School. She sees that teaching a child to read brings far-reaching results.

"It's great, because I know I'm really helping her come along with a really important life skill," explained Gabe. "It's not only a skill, but also a hobby that a lot of people have. It's really fun."

Whether it is founding the Camp Courage soccer program, or helping in the reading program, Gabe stands out to the people who know her.

"We've got a lot of kids like that, but she's definitely unique in the sense of how she's bringing it to the school and the community around," said Ryan Tillson, director of admissions.

In the future, Gabe wants to continue with her focus on children. She especially wants to help those who deal with the same challenges she faces.

"There are only about 150 pediatric rheumatologists in the United States that are practicing, and there are over 300,000 children with arthritis," said Gabe. "There's a huge shortage of them, and so I would like to go to med school and became a pediatric rheumatologist.

With a ball or with a book, she is making life better for young ones around her. That makes her our Cool Kid.


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