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Joe Bowen/FOCUS Gabby Rothwell and her mother, Sara Sullivan, at their home near Big Pine Lake on Tuesday. Gabby, also pictured below, has been upbeat throughout her ordeal. “She’s just a tough little girl,” her mother said.

‘Gabby’s Gang’ draws support for Perham 11-year-old struggling with mystery illness


Gabrielle Rothwell has been battling a series of health problems, ranging from an immune system deficiency to arthritis, all of which her doctors believe may be caused by a rare, currently-undiagnosed underlying disease or cancer.

Through it all, though, the 11-year-old, better known as Gabby to her friends and family, has remained relentlessly positive and upbeat.

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Joe Bowen, a 2009 graduate of St. John's University, is the newest member of the Perham Focus team. He enjoys writing, rugby, and hamburgers.