Getting to sign a professional contract is the dream of any child as they grow up. Everyone lays in bed dreaming and recreating a tension filled moment and then breaking through to be the hero. As we kick off our 2019 Philadelphia Union Moments of the Year, we begin with 15-year-old Gabriel Planas-Borgstrom.
A passionate sports fan for his City of Brotherly Love squads, Gabe has those same dreams but they were almost ended with a diagnosis of Hodgkin's lymphoma in September 2018. After coming down with pneumonia at the end of August, a follow-up visit and a X-ray revealed the mass in his chest and treatment immediately began. Despite the challenges it wasn't the family's first battle with the diagnosis, as Gabe's father Fransicso was diagnosed 14 years earlier before their middle child was born.
Despite the diagnosis, the Bordentown resident continued to play soccer even though he was instructed to avoid the ball during matches. That passion of soccer is what brought Gabe and his family to Philadelphia Union with the help of Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware and Susquehanna Valley. Gabe signed a one-day contract with the Boys in Blue and took on a full day of training that began with activation inside the Power Training Complex's weight room followed by a lengthy trial on the pitch along side the Union.