ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A 20-year-old man that is battling stage 4 brain cancer in St. Augustine is hoping to get a Christmas surprise from his favorite band Metallica.
Action News Jax has been following this young man’s story.
Action News Jax has more on how Metallica fans are working to make his dream come true.
Gilbert has been battling brain cancer for more than five years.
He was in remission for three years, but at the beginning of 2020, his cancer diagnosis took a turn for the worse.
“It’s been pretty rocky for us,” Gilbert said.
The type of brain cancer is called medulloblastoma. It’s an aggressive form of cancer that is mostly found in children. A few months ago, his family received devastating news.
A MRI scan revealed tumors rapidly spreading throughout his brain and his spinal cord.
“Once it affects you it’s quite heavy for a family, not just the person whose diagnosed, but the whole family,” he said.
This Christmas, he only has one wish -- a chance to meet his favorite band.
“Definitely would love to meet Metallica and just talk with them, meet them maybe in person, that would be the greatest, but even just a Zoom call with them,” Gilbert said.
Back in May, Gilbert was supposed to attend the rock festival Welcome to Rockville, but because of COVID-19, the event was canceled.
The main headliner was, you guessed it, Metallica.
“I signed up for all three nights and my cousin and I were going to go and it got canceled and we were like darn, that was a big disappointment,” he said.
Along with chemotherapy, he’s already completed more than 50 rounds of harsh radiation.
But it’s the band’s music that’s helped Gilbert get through his toughest treatments.
“If you’re mad, there’s a song for that. If you’re sad ,there’s a song for that. If you just want to jam out, there’s a song for that,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert’s cancer journey has been posted on Facebook under #teamtrevor. That’s where John Cooper caught wind that Gilbert was an avid Metallica fan much like himself.
So he got to work posting on Facebook and Metallica fan pages, reaching out to friends and to strangers who have connections to the band to help share Gilbert’s story.
“If I had one wish it would be to help Trevor meet Metallica in any fashion or form possible. I just know what it would mean for him,” Cooper said.
Gilbert’s family told Action News Jax that Trevor may not have a lot of time left, but they are doing their best to stay positive.
“We’ve had some not so great news at times and we’ve had some hope,” Gilbert said.
“His spirit is great. His attitude is phenomenal. His smile is contagious. It’s inspirational to me to see such a man at his age struggling like he is to hold it completely together,” Cooper said.
While they haven’t been able to reach Metallica yet, support has been pouring in.
“Some of the cool stuff has been like pics that have been used by members of Metallica, and I’m like, that in itself, it’s just something so cool,” Gilbert said.
Metallica fans from around the world have been sending Gilbert gifts, things like T-shirts, drink coasters, DVDs, even a Metallica face mask to help lift his spirits and push him to keep on fighting.
A GoFundMe has also been created for those who wish to help Gilbert during his cancer fight.
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