BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. — A young man who made a big difference in his community passed away over the weekend.
Local hero, Garrett Jablonski, died peacefully in his sleep Saturday night. He was 9 years old. His family announced the news on Facebook.
Jablonski's celebration of life will be held on Sunday, Sept. 8 at Alcoa Intermediate School from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Garrett was battling a debilitating disease known as Sanfilippo Syndrome type A or MPSIII.
Over time, MPSIII deteriorates one's motor skills, ability to speak and cognitive development. There is currently no known cure for MPSIII and no known way to slow down or regress its debilitating effects.
Garrett was known in his community as an inspirational ray of light that lived within each moment and displayed a unique and rare kindness that he shared with everyone around him.
10News knew Garrett and his family through the "Guardians For Garrett" group. They held kickball tournaments to raise awareness for his disease.
Each year members of the community would join Garrett in a fun game of kickball while raising funds for research efforts exploring the developments of MPSIII.
His bravery touched an entire community and brought awareness to his rare yet terminal disease MPSII.
Many children and teachers from his surrounding community referred to him as the "Mayor of Alcoa Schools" due his loving charm and compassion that enchanted anyone who came into contact with him.
Garrett's family is grateful for the time that they got to spend with their beloved son and are welcoming thoughts and condolences at this time on his Facebook Page Guardians for Garrett.
He's survived by parents Kelli and Scott Jablonski, and his big sister Dylan.