Greece, NY: Spencer Thomas Gernon, “Spencer the Brave”, beloved son and brother, slipped into the next world on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, ending his 4 year struggle with brain cancer. He was 15 years old, far too young.
Spencer reveled in excitement and thrills and would happily spend half the day at Seabreeze Amusement Park just riding the Jack Rabbit roller coaster over and over. He loved expressing himself creatively, through drawing, cartooning, writing, and designing levels for user-created video games like Little Big Planet and Super Mario Maker. He cared deeply about animals, the natural world, and the environment, and always liked taking nature walks and watching the ecosystem of his back yard. Since his diagnosis in 2016, he was also passionate about chronicling his cancer journey through photos on Instagram.
Spencer was one of Golisano Children’s Hospital’s 2018 Miracle Kids. Throughout his difficult cancer symptoms and treatments, his relentlessly positive attitude, thoughtful insight, and sincere compassion touched the hearts of everyone he spent time with, particularly his extensive care team of doctors, nurses, and other professionals at Golisano. As his oncologist, Carol Fries Simpson, MD, said: “He is just the most amazing, inspiring kid. He’s charmed his entire care team with his positive energy, resilience, and heartfelt bravery. We all have learned so much from him.”
Spencer is survived by his parents, Heather Downey-Gernon and Christopher Gernon, and his “Wonder Brother”, Bryce Gernon, who love him forever and always.
In December 2019, Make-A-Wish Foundation gifted Spencer a teen disco lounge, with a disco ball, lights, and flashy decor. It was at home in this lounge that Spencer drew his last breaths, under the quietly spinning disco lights, surrounded by the love and compassion of his family, cats, and medical care team.
Virtual services have not been scheduled yet. Announcements to family and friends will be forthcoming.
In place of gifts or flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Spencer’s honor to any of the wonderful organizations that helped him along the way:
– Golisano Children’s Hospital (https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/childrens-hospital)
– Make-A-Wish Foundation, Metro New York and Western New York Chapter (https://wish.org/newyork)
– C. U. R. E. Childhood Cancer Association (https://www.curekidscancer.com)
– Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (http://www.curethekids.org)
– The Pirate Toy Fund (https://piratetoyfund.org)