A 14-year-old boy from the Chicago suburbs is hoping to receive some letters and emails of encouragement as he battles a rare form of cancer.
Gio Ayala, teenager from Chicago Heights, has been battling leukemia since 12 years old and will turn 15 next week.
"They said I had cancer," Gio said. "I was shocked. I thought I was going to die."
According to his mother, Vickie Ruiz, Gio has a more aggressive form of lukeamia based on his chemical makeup. During the pandemic, Gio suffered a relapse in January, causing him to feel "especially down" over the past few months.
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Both Gio and his mother said they believe that words of encouragement from people, including strangers, can help the road to recovery and provide positive energy.
"I just want to show him that there are still good people out there that care, even though they don't know you," Ruiz said.
The family is asking for letters, emails, social media messages and prayers to "lift Gio's spirits" through his battle.
Letters can be sent to:
P.O. Box 1232
Beecher, IL 60401
Emails can be sent to: