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


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."

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