Gabe and Izzy – In Caring For Izzy, Gabe Found Renewed Hope For Herself

Gabrielle Ford (“Gabe”), had been really down on herself. As a girl, she had danced, but then she found out she had a disease called Friedreich’s Ataxia. Her dancing days were done. Because of her disease, Gabe also had to be in a wheelchair, and she had speech problems. As a result, she got bullied so much that she stayed home all the time and grew very lonely. To cheer Gabe up, her parents got her a dog. It worked, for a while. But then, Gabe’s dog Izzy got a disease very similar to Gabe’s. Gabe was upset, but she focused on caring for Izzy and making her healthy again. Gabe reached out to others for help and realized that she didn’t have to hide away – that there were plenty of good people in the world.

Gabe’s renewed hope, found by reaching out to others, made Gabe want to speak out about bullying. She began to tell her story, saying that bullying is a choice and that it doesn’t need to happen. Now, Gabe and Izzy speak to kids at schools all over the country. This video tells the story of Gabe and Izzy.

Additional Resources:


Topics for Discussion:

  • Have you ever been bullied? How did it make you feel?
  • What can you do to help stop bullying in your school?
  • Gabe found renewed hope by reaching out to others. Who can you reach out to when things go wrong in your life?

Take Action:

  • If you see bullying, do something about it! Stand up for the victim, and if necessary get an adult involved.
  • Check out the Stop Bullying Now website to learn other ways you can help stop bullying!

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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