Towson University alumnus Grayson Gilbert ’14 first discovered he had pancreatic cancer at 5 years old. At 26, he has survived countless operations, procedures, blood transfusions and chemotherapy and maintained an “effervescent” personality and desire to help others through their illnesses.
In recognition of the inspiration he has given other cancer patients, Gilbert will be presented with the Children’s Hope Medal of Honor by the World Health Foundation at a ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 13 at Grace Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles St., at 11 a.m.
The honor is bestowed on those who, “whether it is lending a shoulder to lean on, standing up for the underdog, finding an ‘angel’ to fund a transplant, or making a child’s dream come true,” do “whatever it takes to keep hope alive for both the child and their parents,” according to the organization’s statement about the award sent to Gilbert.
Among his other initiatives, the mass communication major founded the Inspirational Medical Foundation, a social media support system for sick kids.
“I always had my family there for me when I was sick,” said Gilbert, referring to his parents, Jodie and Steve, and his brothers, Wesley and Harrison. “Some of the other kids in the hospital didn’t have anyone visiting. Social media can provide that for people who don’t have much support.”