Brad Paisley signs guitar for Pinellas Park teen battling leukem - WFLA News Channel 8

Brad Paisley signs guitar for Pinellas Park teen battling leukemia

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Left to right: Sara and Keith Koehler and David Gereg with the guitar donated by Westshore Pizza & signed by Brad Paisley.  Gereg family photo. Left to right: Sara and Keith Koehler and David Gereg with the guitar donated by Westshore Pizza & signed by Brad Paisley. Gereg family photo.
Brad Paisley holding the guitar he signed for David Gereg. Keith Koehler/Gereg family photo Brad Paisley holding the guitar he signed for David Gereg. Keith Koehler/Gereg family photo
The guitar Brad Paisley signed for David Gereg. Keith Koehler/Gereg family photo The guitar Brad Paisley signed for David Gereg. Keith Koehler/Gereg family photo
David Gereg will undergo a bone marrow transplant on Wednesday. Gereg family photo David Gereg will undergo a bone marrow transplant on Wednesday. Gereg family photo
PINELLAS PARK, FL (WFLA) -

When 15-year-old David Gereg goes to the hospital for a long-awaited bone marrow transplant on Wednesday, he'll know the community is rallying behind him, along with a very famous country singer.

Brad Paisley autographed an electric guitar for the Pinellas Park teen during his Tampa concert last Friday.

“He's elated. It's a big deal for him. He's very happy,” said David's mother Janice Gereg.

Gereg, who has battled leukemia for 8 years, was invited to go to the concert and meet Paisley, but he wasn't able to attend because of preps for his upcoming transplant.

The country singer's autograph was one of many acts of kindness bestowed on Gereg since word got out that someone had broken into his family's home and stole the teen's guitars and amplifiers, PlayStation gaming systems, TV and laptop computer.

Many teens have PlayStations, musical instruments and computer, but to Gereg, they were more than just possessions.

“These electronics are his only reprieve from his daily pain and sickness, as well as how he reaches out to the world. And now they have all been stolen,” said his aunt Jennifer Reider.

“I am appalled at a person who could do this to a boy fighting cancer for his life,” she added.

The owners of Westshore Pizza, Keith Koehler and Paul Samson, heard about David's plight and bought him a Epiphone Les Paul electric guitar complete with cable, picks, strings, a case, and even a matching Pink Floyd strap that was identical to the one that was stolen.

The guitar will come in handy when David has to spend 60 days in isolation after his transplant.

The men's generosity didn't end there. Koehler, who is also a musician, arranged to have the guitar signed by the country singer.

"To David with love Brad Paisley," wrote Paisley on Gereg's guitar.

Koehler, who performs in the Tampa Bay area under the stage name KEKO, says he uses music in the same way that Gereg does, to get away from the realities of life.

“I personally believe that music is a great way to get your mind off of life and to be able to focus on the positive way music makes you feel,” he said.

The Westshore Pizza owners are not the only people who've gone out of their way to help the teen. Pinellas Park Police, a local Girl Scout troop, high school students and others have donated or raised money to help David Gereg.

“It's kind of humbling for us. It's realizing that there's good people out there,” said the teen's father Dave.

A website has been created for anyone who would like to learn more about David Gereg or donate.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved

 

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