As the oldest of five, Gaela enjoyed a quiet, private upbringing and was incredibly close to her siblings and parents. The family spent weekends traveling to soccer tournaments and afternoons rushing between practices for her brothers and sisters. Gaela has always been positive and affectionate, carrying herself with poise on and off the field even as she carries her heartbroken family through the toughest match of their life. In July 2010 Gaela's youngest brother, two year old Charlie, slipped into the family pool. After a six day battle for his life Charlie passed away and left an irreplaceable void in Gaela's life. The grieving family quickly bound together and responded by creating Team Charlie to support other grieving families in their area. Team Charlie has already grown to 1000's of members and is providing clean water to communities in Africa, supplying organ donation education and conducting toy drives for children. This fall Gaela is directing a 5k Turkey Trot to honor Charlie that is benefiting the Navy Seals Foundation and local families who lost members overseas. Gaela has maintained her commitment as a pillar to her family, to her education as an honor roll student and to her team as a strong player and leader.
Darren Warham, one of Gaela's coaches with the Rush, had this to say about Gaela, "Gaela is a 90 minute heart and soul player kind of player. She does whatever needs to be done to give herself, her team and her friends the best opportunity to be successful."
See the video below for Gaela's story.
Maxpreps.com also wrote an article about Gaela. Click here to read the article.
To read more about Gaela and vote for her, please click here.
The winner will be announced on January 3rd so get out an vote!