Many adults think young Gabriel Rose is a very responsible 11-year-old boy from Cary in taking care of his diabetes.
He consistently monitors his own health, said Dr. John Beckerman, his pediatrician at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington.
“He is quite a remarkable young boy,” Beckerman said. “He took control of his Type 1 diabetes right from the start, astounding hospital staff at checking his blood sugars and giving his own insulin shots.”
But even a determined kid like Gabriel might need some encouragement at times, and he found that on Aug. 11 while sitting next to Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Brandon Morrow in the Wrigley Field dugout.
The reliever also has Type 1 diabetes.
“He has the gadgets like I have, such as a (portable) glucose monitor,” Rose said. “He’s living with diabetes like I am. We both hate being hooked up to stuff.”
The home team fell 9-4 to the Washington Nationals that day, but Rose and his siblings met Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, as well.
Rose also spent the afternoon at Wrigley serving as the “Honorary Bat Kid,” a dreamlike opportunity Advocate Health Care arranges for young patients during the Cubs’ long season.
In August 2016, Beckerman diagnosed Gabriel with diabetes, and then the boy spent three days at Good Shepherd.
Beckerman also suggested his patient be the bat kid “because of the determination with which his young patient has accepted the day-to-day challenge of having a disease that is common but deadly serious,” said Kathleen Troher, public affairs and marketing manager at Good Shepherd.
Another quality that impresses people is Gabriel’s willingness to talk about his illness to friends and teammates.
“He plays sports, and kids are interested to know why he steps off the field sometimes,” said his mother, Antonette Rose. “He explains his diabetes and why he has to take care of himself.”
His youth baseball coach for five years, Kevin Frangiamore, believed Gabriel’s openness comes from his close, supportive family.
“They’re a big family, and it’s just like, ‘Let’s get on with it and get on with life,’” Frangiamore said.
He’s also impressed with Gabriel’s baserunning speed and support he shows for teammates.
“He’s the fastest kid in the league and consistently the fastest. He always has a smile on his face and cheering for teammates,” Frangiamore added.
To Gabriel, like most kids, the reason for helping others is plainly simple.
“One of my friends has diabetes,” he said. “I like to talk to him about it, and he felt happy, because he did not feel alone, then.”