Skip to main content

Super-Gav to the rescue! 4-year-old gets to be superhero for a day

  • Author:
  • Updated:

It's a bird... It's a plane... It's Super-Gav!

Wearing a cape and Superman t-shirt, Winona 4-year-old Gavin Quimby got the chance to be a superhero for the day on Thursday, Winona Daily News reports.

Gavin, the paper reports, has metachromatic leukodystrophy – a neurological disease that degenerates white matter of the brain. It causes the brain and nervous system to gradually lose function. The National Institute of Health says that, while considerable progress has been made with treatment research, the prognosis is still poor. Most children with the infantile form die by the age of 5.

While the disease is incurable, Gavin and his family are doing everything they can, including creating a foundation called "Gavin Flying For a Cure," and organizing Gavin's superhero stint.

Inspired by Miles Scott, a San Francisco five-year-old with leukemia who became Batkid for a day last year, Gavin's family, friends, and the community of Winona planned the special day.

Throughout Thursday, Gavin scored the winning touchdown for the Winona Winhawks, put out a fire at the elementary school, and stopped a man from stealing his daycare provider's purse.

Video from throughout the day can be found at WEAU.

"It means the world to me to be able to give Gavin a day where he can just be special," Tabetha Fischer, a family friend, told the station. "We think he's special every day."

At a presentation at City Hall, Mayor Mark Peterson proclaimed June 19 "Super-Gav Day." He rewarded Gavin with a key to the city, WKBT said.

The events were filmed for a mini-movie documenting Gavin's heroism to be shown at a benefit July 26.

Gavin's father, Nick Quimby, told the Winona Daily News his son always had "his own special walk." He and his wife, Shanna, knew it was something more when Gavin began to fall, have trouble with stairs, and fell behind his peers in motor skills development.

After seeing multiple doctors, Gavin was diagnosed with the disease in December.

"The city will always remember and cheer for you and your family," Peterson told Gavin Thursday, according to WKBT. "On behalf of the city of Winona, thank you for being such a superhero."

Next Up

Minneapolis Fire Department

Series of garage fires cause damage in south Minneapolis

Two of the fires occurred on the 4500 block of Snelling Avenue.

Cedric Alexander

Minneapolis’ public safety chief spends evening mocking, blocking on Twitter

The community safety commissioner responded to one user's question about downtown policing by calling them two-faced.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 4.04.40 PM

Ramen bar announced for upcoming Eat Street Crossing food hall

The restaurant roster is filling up at Eat Street Crossing.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man dies after being shot during argument in Minneapolis

It's the 70th homicide in Minneapolis this year.


Minneapolis police, city employees clear out Near North encampment

This comes as colder weather moves through the state.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 4.32.46 PM

New T.J. Maxx to open in the Twin Cities this month

Opening day will kick off with extended hours.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 3.04.24 PM

Former Hennepin County commissioner arrested for DWI

The 61-year-old was being held in Hennepin County Jail as of Thursday morning.

Evie Carshare

Electric carshare network showing growth in Twin Cities

Over 25,000 trips have been logged in a six-month span.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 1.11.01 PM

Popular Apple Valley ice arena could be replaced

A concept plan to transform the ice arena is being considered.


Low river levels bring cancellations for St. Paul-New Orleans Viking cruises

The low water also impacted some barge traffic making its way down the river.