This year’s Fill the Suburban is the biggest yet

By Brenda Erdahl

It’s Trevor Pribyl’s birthday again and by now folks in Maple Lake know what that means – presents for everybody, or at least 920-plus sick children at the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Children’s Hospital.

It’s a gift the generous almost-13- year-old gives every year on his birthday because he knows what it’s like to be a sick child in the hospital, and it makes him feel good.

That feel-good feeling that comes from generosity is its own birthday reward to Trevor, but this year he’ll get another: his second present is the gift of good health.

For the first time in seven years, Trevor has had nine months of clear brain scans.

“There is no way to know if he will need any more surgery, he will continue every six months to have scans to watch. Things can change at any time. We continue to pray that things stay as they are,” his mom Rachel Pribyl said.

Trevor was just five years old when he was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a rare genetic condition that causes mostly benign tumors to form in a person’s brain. Since then he has had 14 surgeries including three on his birthday. It was during a hospital stay on his birthday that he came up with the idea for Trevor’s Fill the Suburban charity, the Suburban being the family car.

“The first year I was just going to donate my toys from my birthday party, but some people wanted to help make it bigger. Now I try to fill the suburban every year,” he said. That was back when he turned 10. Over the years the cause has grown from 500 donated toys to 700 to 900 to this year’s 920 total, and toys are still filtering in after the April 10 delivery date.

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