Every Ronald McDonald House Radiothon produces some very special and memorable moments. The 2014 Radiothon was no exception as Mid-Southerners were introduced to 6-year-old Gage. With his non-stop energy and incredible spirit, Gage captured the hearts of everyone that participated in the Radiothon.
A native of Petersburg, Ind., Gage was diagnosed with an inoperable brain stem tumor in March of this year and traveled with his mom and dad to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to receive treatment. Ronald McDonald House became their home-away-from-home.
It didn’t take long for Gage to settle in at Ronald McDonald House. He loves interacting with the staff and volunteers. He’s always on the go, playing with this remote control truck or riding one of the bikes outside.
When Gage’s mom, Tiffany, was asked to share their story during the Radiothon. She didn’t hesitate to say “yes.”
“Our initial plan was just to come in and do a quick interview on the first day of the Radiothon and then head back to our room,” according to Tiffany. “Once he got his headphones on he loved it. There was no stopping him. Next thing we knew he was answering phones and thanking people for donating to Ronald McDonald House of Memphis.”
Soon Gage’s infectious personality had spread past the four walls of the Radiothon call center to all of the people listening to 98.1 The Max and NewsTalk 98.9. People began calling in and waiting on hold to donate to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis and wish Gage well.
“After introducing himself to each caller and thanking them for calling in, he would tell them ‘show me the money,’” Tiffany said. “The next morning he woke up and went downstairs for cereal, but instead spent the morning answering phones and talking on the radio with Danni from 98.1 The Max.”
What started as a quick 10 minute interview the day prior completely changed the feel of the Radiothon. Gage was hooked and the listeners were hooked on him.
“When I explained to him that he was actually on the radio and that people were calling in to donate money after hearing him on the radio he cracked a huge grin,” she said. “He just thought people were calling in to talk to him.”
“He spent the entire day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. working the call center. By the time his head hit the pillow that night he was out,” she said. “He was totally exhausted, but he had so much fun. Danni from 98.1 The Max even invited him to their studio for a tour before we leave Memphis.”
Some people spend their entire lives waiting for their 15 minutes of fame, Gage managed to stretch his 10 minutes into two days and create a lifetime of memories for himself and those lucky enough to be around him.