5-year-old fighting cancer receives 'monster' surprise - Tucson News Now

5-year-old fighting cancer receives 'monster' surprise

(Source: KOLD News 13) (Source: KOLD News 13)
MARANA, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A kindergartener who’s fighting cancer received a surprise of monster proportions in Marana on Thursday, March 2.

Gabe Gutierrez walked outside for lunch at Roadrunner Elementary, thinking it was any ordinary day.

What he saw instead was a 10,000-pound Monster Jam truck parked right in front of him.

The surprise brought a smile to his face and cheers from his classmates.

Gutierrez was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in early 2016 and has since been in remission.

HopeKids, an Arizona-based nonprofit, found out about Gutierrez’s brave battle and helped arrange the gargantuan surprise for him. HopeKids grants wishes for children suffering from life-threatening health conditions.

"It really just helps us as a whole family to de-stress from it all, and to come together more to support him more and to support each other more and just do things that we couldn't normally do," said Paula Gutierrez, Gabe's mother.

The truck's driver, Jared Eichelberger, signed autographs while students admired the spiked truck named "Max-D" - short for Maximum Destruction.

The Monster Jam Triple Threat Series will show at the Tucson Arena on March 3-5.

Gutierrez became shy during the playground event but his parents said gestures like this help him and their family more than they can express.

"Without the community and everything we wouldn't know what to do. With all the help we received, it's just been nice to not have to worry about everything so much," said father Mike Gutierrez.

Gabe's family plans to attend the Monster Jam show on Sunday, March 5.

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