Gabrielle competes in CrossFit competitions and enjoys an active lifestyle; she likes spending time with her dog and travel. Recently, she graduated from Cornell University and just started medical school. She is on track to become a pediatrician or neonatologist – a dream she’s had since the age of 13.
Gabrielle and her twin brother, Jordan, were also born extremely premature at 26 weeks, after their mom went in to preterm labor at Morristown Medical Center. She acknowledges that there is an interesting dichotomy that comes with being a NICU survivor, “On one hand it feels like a quintessential part of my identity, but on the other, it’s not something I can personally recall.” Gabrielle has always been referred to as the ‘miracle child’ and grew up feeling so special and loved.
Gabrielle and Jordan both suffered from complications related to extreme prematurity, such as respiratory distress and gastrointestinal instability. Jordan passed away 10 weeks after birth due to these complications. Gabrielle’s parents have always honored her brother’s memory and she has known about him her entire life. Nonetheless, her mom has described the heartache that accompanied that loss, and the struggle to persist for Gabrielle’s sake. She thinks her parents were and still are resilient.
Gabrielle is cognizant of the fact that had she been born 20 years earlier, or in a more remote part of the world, that she would not have survived. She is encouraged and motivated by the advances in neonatal medicine; and in the future, she hopes that she can help bring better quality medical care to remote and/or underserved populations. She has vowed to live her life to the fullest!