Three year old superhero fan fights back

Three year old Gavyn Wilkens drives himself in his wheelchair for the first time. (Photo: Heather Maloney)

By, Heather Maloney

It was a normal July Monday in Colorado; a normal drive home that changed a life forever. Three year old Gavyn Wilkens was buckled into his car seat for what was to have been the same drive he experienced every day. No one will ever know exactly what happened, however what has been deduced is that Gavyn unbuckled the chest harness that kept him safe. When his mom, Aimee looked in the rear view mirror for one split second, she did not see the bus in front of them. Something was watching over Aimee and Gavyn because the accident happened right in front of a park where three nurses just happened to be for a birthday party. These angels saved his life. Gavyn suffered a complete transection of his spinal column. This means that doctors did not believe he would ever breathe on his own again, move muscles such as his tongue and would be paralyzed from the neck down.

Gavyn is a huge fan of “The Avengers”. Captain America is his hero and he spent almost every waking moment pretending to be Steve Rogers. All of the practice in the world could not have prepared him for the battle that now lies in front of him. When visitors walk into Gavyn’s room they are immediately greeted by images of Iron Man, Hulk and the Captain himself. Friends and family wear Captain America bracelets to show support for Gavyn and if he is awake, one can bet that he is watching his heroes on screen.

Even with all of the odds against him, Gavyn continues to amaze everyone around him. He continually pushes himself beyond what anyone thought was possible. With the help of the amazing staff at Children’s Hospital, he improves a little every day. He can answer yes and no questions, mouth words and recently began moving his tongue.

Last Friday, Gavyn was able to drive his own wheelchair. With a button under his chin that controls forward movement, and his daddy right behind steering left and right, Gavyn was able to travel around the hospital. The pure joy on his face would have melted the hardest of hearts and he had fun pretending to chase his mom.

This Saturday there will be a fundraising event in Colorado to help Gavyn’s fight. The Denverjunkies Carclub will be hosting ‘The Rockabilly Lockdown 2: A Gavyn Wilken’s Benefit’ at Eck’s Saloon. There will be a silent auction including amazing items such as a Denver Nuggets signed basketball. For more information on the event, please visit this site. Donations can also be accepted through

One can’t be sure if Captain America taught him about positivity and hope or it was in his heart all along, but Gavyn’s determination and joy is infectious. While he may never be able to fly or fight supervillians with ease, Gavyn continues to prove that he deserves to stand along with his heroes and has become a hero to everyone around him.

To help in Gavyn’s fight or for updates on his condition, please visit


Published by: Heather Maloney

Heather Maloney is an avid Doctor Who and British science fiction fan. She attends the Gallifrey One Convention in Los Angeles annually, and facilitates the Doctor Who Panels for the Starfest Convention in Denver. During her active Doctor Who Fandom, she has met four Doctors, countless companions and numerous Doctor Who actors, writers and directors. Contact Heather at

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