DENVER – Starting Tuesday, Coloradans can get a brand-new specialty license plate and help children battling cancer. 14-year-old Gabe Santistevan came up with the idea for the “Cure Childhood Cancer” license plate.
"I just want people to know there are kids out there diagnosed with cancer and they and their families are struggling to fight this disease," he said.
While he's going through his own fight with cancer, the Aurora teen has designed a unique way to help other families going through the same struggle. He and his mom petitioned the state for a custom license plate to support the Morgan Adams Foundation and Cops Fighting Cancer. In May 2018, Governor John Hickenlooper signed the bill into law, approving the new license plate.
"It’s really cool I have a bill named after me and that other kids will get help with fighting this disease," Santistevan said.
Santistevan was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer at 9 years old. His mom said he went through six rounds of chemotherapy, 32 days of high-dose radiation and three brain surgeries. He finished his treatment in 2014 and is now cancer-free.
“Right now, I’m doing alright, going to doctor appointments hoping it doesn’t come back" he said.
His mom said he’s always been interested in cars. He came up with the idea for the license plates to help raise money for research and to raise awareness about the disease.
How does one get a Childhood Cancer Awareness license plate? Make a dedicated minimum donation of $43 to The Morgan Adams Foundation. The Morgan Adams Foundation will provide proof of eligibility. Take the proof of eligibility to a Division of Motor Vehicles office.
At the DMV, one will need to pay the vehicle’s registration costs, plus a one-time fee of $50 (the standard fee for any Colorado specialty plate) to the Colorado Department of Revenue. Colorado specialty plates are printed “on-demand;" the new license plates will be mailed within a few weeks.
“The $43 donation is because there are 43 kids diagnosed with cancer each day in the U.S. My goal is just to make the survival rate increase. It’s pretty heartbreaking. I don’t think anyone should go through this," Santistevan said.