#TeamGabby comes home!


Welcome home Gabby, Audra and Dave Cava of #TeamGabby!

You’ve been through quite the tough journey down in Chapel Hill, NC and we are so happy to be able to provide assistance in your safe and hopefully smooth journey home.

For those who may not know, Gabby is 15 and is a local Harborfields High School girl like Maggie. Gabby was diagnosed with metastatic signet ring cell carcinoma in 2018 and has been undergoing chemo and surgery for the aggressive cancer ever since.

Gabby was intended to be our guest of honor at Maggie’s Mission Angelversary Gala in Montauk but Gabby needed more time in NC to recuperate. We were thankful and pleased that some of Gabby’s family members were able to attend the Gala - and by the looks of it, they had a good time! xoxoxo


After a period of 7 weeks, Gabby and her family have finally been able to return home from Gabby’s major HIPEC surgery done by Dr. Hayes Jordan at UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, NC. It was a lifesaving procedure. You can read more about Gabby and her family’s journey with cancer here: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/gabbycavabeatscancer

Maggie’s Mission knows the difficulties of traveling with a sick child and offered to help get Gabby, Audra and Dave back home by coordinating a private jet to a local Long Island airport today - June 11, 2019. Maggie’s uncle paid for their “Rockstar” limo service as they called it to the airport in NC and we paid for the fuel and pilots to get them the rest of the way. The jet itself was generously donated by Pete Ferrandino, a family friend to Maggie’s Mission.


Part of the money Maggie’s Mission raises from our events like the Gala are meant to fund special experiences like this and to make life easier on pediactric cancer patients and their families. Having gone through this ourselves, we know what it is like and have great empathy for those going through it. Thank you all for helping us help others.

Gabby’s mom Audra writes…

The less glamorous side - Gabby doesn’t have to go through security in a wheel chair.

How would we have gotten all these medical supplies and Gabby’s new shower chair, aka plastic lawn chair, home without filling the entire cargo area and extra plane seats if this wasn’t a private jet? Answer: we would have had to spend hours culling and shipping. Thank you Maggie’s Mission!

These are things no one thinks of, but yet doing something like this can really make a difference. We are glad to help.


WELCOME HOME TO GABBY AND THE CAVA FAMILY! Maggie’s Mission is proud to be a part of your journey, your lives and our community - a community of people coming together to help others!


Maggie's Mission Angelversary Gala 2019

On Friday, May 31st, 2019, over 240 people came together to celebrate Maggie’s life in a place Maggie loved - Montauk, NY. Together we raised $83,000! This event is aptly named Maggie’s Mission Angelversary Gala because it is held close to the day Maggie left us - June 1, 2017. On April 19th, Maggie would have turned 19. We love and miss her with everything we are and continue to honor her dying wish to help save other children.

The setting could not have been nicer. Held at Rick’s Crabby Cowboy Café on the waters of Lake Montauk, guests were treated to a beautiful evening under the stars and grand tent space filled with amazing food by Events by Peter Ambrose, great music by Anthony Cacioppo, professional photography by Christopher Appoldt, elegant floral arrangements by Sag Harbor Florist, and custom chocolate moussé cake by Sag Harbor Baking Co.


Angels walked around selling raffle tickets, sporting custom gold pediatric cancer ribbon tattoos donated by Tattly and angel wings. It was an uplifting event, meant to inspire hope to those suffering.


Gabby Cava, a Maggie’s Mission friend and local Harborfield’s High School student was intended to be our guest of honor for the evening but unfortunately, Gabby was in North Carolina still recuperating from extensive surgery to remove the signet ring cell carcinoma that had spread throughout her abdomen. We were so pleased that Gabby’s older sister Marianna, Gabby’s Grandmother, Grandfather and Step Grandmother were able to attend. They even walked away with a few winning raffle baskets. Marianna briefly took the mike and spoke about her younger sister Gabby and we were able to face time with her during the event. We wish Gabby a quick recovery and are hopeful Gabby and her Mom and Dad get to come home soon after spending over six weeks in the hospital.


This event would not have been possible were it not for the help of Michelle DeSousa, a Maggie’s Mission Board member who dove head first into planning this event with Maggie’s mom so it would be as successful as can be. That included planning the event, garnering donations, to working herself silly the night of the event. We are so happy and proud to call her our sister-in-law, dedicated Board Member, Aunt to Maggie Schmidt, and huge support to Maggie’s Mission. The sign she is holding “GIVE BACK” never meant more. Thank you Michelle!


Dr. Alex Kentsis, who is working on the Malignant Rhabdoid Tumor project at Memorial Sloan Kettering gave a brief speech which provided an update on the research we are funding at MSK Kids to find answers that will lead to cures on the rare and aggressive disease that stole Maggie’s life. A disease that mainly affects babies and young children.


Maggie’s brother Steven spoke about who Maggie was, how much we miss her and about her dying wish to save other children. He introduced Maggie’s boyfriend Mathew Polcer who was a tremendous, loving source of support during her illness. Matt sung a song titled “Angel Rays” by Trevor Hall for Maggie while a tribute video of Maggie’s life was displayed in the background.


Guests were treated to specialty cocktail drinks, locally sourced oysters, lobster rolls, champagne, Long Island wines and more! While most arrived by car, there were a few who came by boat! The boat above proudly displays the Maggie’s Mission logo. Word is getting around in all ways possible about the wonderful and exciting work we are doing!

Please take some time to view our tribute video to Maggie and her life. Maggie’s Mission is proud to carry on her wonderful spirit and dying wish to help other children. We love you Maggie and miss you more and more each day!

Special thanks to all of our gold sponsors, Structure Tek, Marine Bulkheading, Charles & Helen Reichert Family Foundation, New York Community Bank, Triad Metals, American Capital Partners, Inc., and JD Fields & Company, Inc.

We appreciate our Board of Directors, our family and every single volunteer and merchant who donated their time, services, and more. We couldn’t have done this event without all of you!

Valet parking services donated by Unique Parking. All wines & prosecco donated by Cellier Wines Distributing Inc. Beer donated by Montauk Brewery. Rum donated by Diplomatica Rum. Vodka donated by Sagg Pond Distillery. Whiskey donated by Montauk Hard Label. Tequila donated by Casamigos Tequila. Palm trees donated by Island Wide Palm Trees. Event banners provided by Evan Schulman of Display Design & Development Corp.

The photos from Maggie's Mission Gala are up for you in an online Gallery! You can download one or all of the images at no cost, and even order prints you might like at wholesale prices - they'll be delivered to your doorstep in the mail. Please note this link will only be active until September 3, 2019.

The link to the Gallery is: https://www.christopherappoldt.com/p370271090 the password is maggie, all lower case.