Stephen’s Story

Stephen PicStephen Daniel Chavez, born April 18, 1988, was a fun and loving young man who lived his life passionately and fiercely. He was the middle child, with an older sister and younger brother. Stephen was extremely creative, had an infectious laugh, and a very kind heart. He graduated with a degree in Video Game Development and Design.

Stephen’s instinct to help others blended with his passion for video games. He organized a video game tournament in Miami called Florida Lan (Flan). Gamers flew from across the country to attend the two-day event. All the money raised was donated to an organization that provides video consoles and games to pediatric hospitals and homeless shelters.

In the summer of 2015, Stephen was a 27-year-old sitting on top of the world.  He found a job he loved, bought the car of his dreams, and traveled whenever possible to meet up with friends from the Gaming community. The summer of that year would change his life forever. Stephen noticed a mole on his back and immediately went to see a dermatologist. A biopsy later confirmed it was Melanoma. The mole was surgically removed, and Stephen began his quarterly visits to the doctor’s office.  For the following two years, his health was closely monitored.  During that time, additional moles were discovered and removed, none of which tested positive for cancer.

By the summer of 2017, Stephen’s physician was feeling confident about his prognosis and told him all future visits would be six months apart. Two weeks later, he presented symptoms of a stomach virus or food poisoning. His parents took Stephen to the ER, and soon after he was diagnosed with Metastatic Stage IV Melanoma. Unnoticed by either Stephen or his doctor, cancer had spread and taken over his body.  The outlook was grim, and his prognosis was even worse.  Despite an aggressive attempt to save his life, 106 days later Stephen lost his battle to cancer. On November 14, 2017, surrounded by his loved ones, Stephen passed away peacefully at home.

Before his passing, Stephen had unknowingly planted the seed for what would later become his legacy. During his stay at the hospital, it didn’t take long for him to notice how poorly designed the hospital gowns were for patients receiving infusion treatment. In true Stephen fashion, along with his passion to help kids,  Stephen started designing a superhero inspired gown for pediatric cancer patients. This was the start of Miggy’s Gift.