From Patient to Young Philanthropist
The summer of 2011 was a scary one for Gigi Gibowicz and her family. While visiting her grandparents at their camp on Cold Stream Pond, severe abdominal pain brought the eight-year-old Sudbury, Massachusetts girl first to a local hospital in Lincoln then to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center for emergency surgery to fix an abnormal twisting of her small intestine. Two additional surgeries – one at EMMC and one at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston, closer to her home, led Gigi to a full recovery.
Two summers later, back at her grandparents’ camp, Gigi decided she wanted to give back to the hospital that saved her life. “Even though we live in Massachusetts, I wanted to find a way to stay connected with Eastern Maine Medical Center,” says Gigi. “I like giving back, and it feels good to know that I’m actually helping – not just the hospital, but young patients, just like me.”
Through the generosity of her great uncle and aunt, Jim and Barbara Veilleux – owners of Maine Illustrated – Gigi began selling Cold Stream Pond t-shirts, coffee mugs, and magnets to the Davis Road neighborhood from her little wagon. Sales of the popular items grew each summer, and in 2018 she added sweatshirts to her inventory of items. The little wagon has been put away, and she now sells items at CSP Camp Owners Association meetings, the Enfield Farmers Market, and through social media. This year, Gigi began offering her artistic talents - drawing/painting the homes and camps (and one car) of neighbors who commission her work.
Gigi is now 16 years old and getting ready for her junior year of high school. Recently, she presented the Northern Light Foundation with a check for $1,175 for this summer’s sales, which brings her total giving to pediatrics at Eastern Maine Medical Center to more than $7,200!
Gigi’s fundraising efforts and generosity benefit our young patients and their families each and every day.
To help kids like Gigi, click here.