The family of Mo Gaba — an enthusiastic 11-year-old Baltimore Orioles superfan who has beaten cancer twice and has gained a local following with calls to sports-talk radio programs — got another round of bad news recently.
Following two previous diagnoses of retinoblastoma, the blind Glen Burnie fifth-grader was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, and had to be taken out of his classes George Cromwell Elementary for treatment beginning late last month, said his mother, Sonsy Gaba. He'll likely miss the rest of the school year.
"It broke my heart, because he's been through enough already, and he's only 11," she said. "He loves school. He misses his friends."
Upon hearing of the latest diagnosis, fans of Mo's who have heard him on 105.7 The Fan and Mix 106.5 donated more than $13,400 for his family's expenses on an online GoFundMe page titled "Mo Strong."
The Orioles invited Mo to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Sunday game in a recent series against the New York Yankees. His review? "It was really cool," he said. "I never knew that was going to happen."
Mo has faith in the team, which leads the American League East in the first month of the season.
"They're off to a good start right now," he said. "The record they have now, if they can keep that up, they can go pretty far."
Despite Mo's diagnosis, his mother said, his spirits have been high.
"Regardless of what he's been through, he's the happiest boy you'll ever meet," she said. "If he's not smiling, you know he's not feeling well."
Sonsy Gaba said she was astounded by the generosity of those who donated to the GoFundMe page.
"It's amazing," she said. "I can't thank people enough. I really can't."