Super-Gav, Winona's pint-sized superhero, dies of neurological disorder


A little boy named Gavin, who captured the hearts of people in his hometown of Winona - and indeed across Minnesota - has lost his two-year battle with a rare genetic disorder.

Gavin Quimby died early Tuesday morning surrounded by his family, the Winona Daily News reports. He was 5 years old.

We first heard about this little guy in June of last year when he became superhero for a day. Wearing a cape and Superman t-shirt, "Super-Gav" saved the city of Winona from all sorts of disasters.

He scored the winning touchdown for the Winona Winhawks, put out a fire at an elementary school, and stopped a man from stealing his daycare provider’s purse.

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

Here's video of his exploits:

This embed is invalid

Unfortunately, Gavin's superpowers could not fight off the neurological disorder, metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD), that was robbing him of his brain function.

There is no cure for the disease and most children with the infantile form of it die by age 5.

According to the Winona Daily News, Gavin has been undergoing various treatments for months, including chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, in an attempt to slow the progression of the disease. But nothing was working.

So his parents, Nick and Shanna, decided two weeks ago to stop treatments and bring him home for his last days.

His parents chronicled Gavin's life with his disease on Facebook, and Shanna posted the news of his passing Tuesday morning.

Shanna, Nick and their daughter Alli launched a campaign months ago to have MLD added to the list of conditions that babies are screened for shortly after they're born. They say early detection would give children a better chance of survival.

The Daily News notes that state Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, introduced a measure in the Legislature last session - called the Super Gav Act - to do just that.

Next Up

Marijuana, cannabis

Minnesota legal marijuana bill headed for House vote for first time ever

The bill passed the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday.

Douglas Schroeder

Appeal to find 59-year-old man missing from Edina

Douglas Schroeder was last seen on Thursday.

Ambulance Hennepin Healthcare

Woman found fatally shot in downtown parking ramp

It happened on 9th Street South between LaSalle and Hennepin.

duluth police department

Woman critical after Duluth stabbing, man suffers broken leg

Police have released sparse details about the incident.

Screen Shot 2021-05-08 at 10.01.38 PM

Police: Man, 20, killed his older sister in Chanhassen

Police found the 25-year-old woman dead from gunshot wounds.

Kirill Kaprizov

Kaprizov's playmaking, Rask's OT winner on display against Ducks

The Wild superstar had a pair of assists in a 4-3 victory.

Tyler Duffey

Twins offense, bullpen continue to struggle against Tigers

The Tigers scored five runs in the seventh inning in a 7-3 defeat.


Early Saturday crash leaves 2 kids, 1 adult dead in Maple Grove

The crash happened just before 7 a.m. Saturday.

State Patrol

State Patrol reports 2 fatal crashes on Friday in Minnesota

The first incident happened in Austin Township, and the second happened in Birch Lake Township.


Deaths on Minnesota roads in 2021 at highest level in more than a decade

There have been a total of eight motorcyclist fatalities on Minnesota roads this year.