What is your name?

Bella Rocco

How long have you been living with GIST?

Since I was seven years old. I am twelve now.

What was your first thought when you were diagnosed with GIST?

I didn’t know what it was. I just knew I hadn’t been feeling well and I was glad the doctors figured out what it was so they could help me feel better and they did.

What grade are you in and what’s your favorite class?

I am going into the seventh grade. I love my Italian class and math the best. I was on the honor roll all four marking periods in sixth grade and I hope to do it again in seventh grade.

How are you doing now?

I’m doing great but have to get MRI’s done every few months to watch for more tumors.

What is your favorite sport or activity outside of school?

I love softball, field hockey, cheerleading, art classes, amusement parks, the beach, and hanging with my friends and cousins.

GIST is called a “rare” cancer, how do you feel about that term being applied to you?

I think I’m just like most kids. I just have to go to the doctor more than a lot of other kids to make sure I stay healthy. I guess rare is ok because it’s like being unique which is a good thing but when it comes to GIST or me having GIST I would rather it not be considered rare so more people would know about it and more doctors would be able to find a cure.

Tell me a little about your special characteristic.

What is special about me is my dimples, my leftie swing when I’m playing softball, and that I am not afraid of anything. My mom says I’m fearless. It doesn’t matter if it’s an upside down roller coaster, or another needle in my arm, I’m not afraid.

I also think I may want to be a doctor when I grow up or maybe do research to help other people who are sick.

Read more about Bella here.

Check out all of the Faces of GIST at While you are there check out our awesome video explaining the campaign and be sure to like us on Facebook and Twitter and share the campaign with everyone you know. The campaign going viral can only happen if everyone does their part. With this campaign we can finally wipe out the word rare from GIST and get the recognition we need to cure this disease.