​Giving, and giving back, via Make-A-Wish

The "Dream Team" we're following this morning doesn't play football or basketball or any other sport of the season. Instead, these team members go all-out to make the dreams of children come true . . . wherever and whenever they can. Our Cover Story is reported by Lee Cowan:

As we pause to give thanks this weekend, consider thanking Nature for Yosemite National Park. It's a wonder, and those who protect its beauty deserve our gratitude, too.

Especially nine-year-old Ranger Gabe Lavan-Ying.

He raced with wild excitement to the scene of a brush fire at Cathedral Beach picnic area ("The firefighters need your help putting it out!"). As the flames leapt at the dry bush, all the cares Gabe had in the world went up in a puff of smoke.

Was he scared? "No," he said.

"How come? It was a pretty big fire," Cowan said.

"Because I'm brave," Gabe replied.

make-a-wish-park-ranger-gabe-fighting-fire-620.jpg
Park Ranger Gabe battles a forest fire.
CBS News

Gabe wasn't only bravely battling the fire that day; he's battling a life-threatening disease, called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

"My joints really hurt and I have a bunch of pain, and my legs really get sore, so I can't really walk that far," he said.

"It really hurts a lot?" Cowan asked.

"Ah-huh. I hurts, like, every day."

"So what do you do?"

"Deal with it."

The disease has weakened Gabe's connective tissues -- his skin and his joints. For him, just living is painful.

Cowan asked, "What do you tell your mom?"

"I tell my mom, like, it hurts and it hurts really bad. And sometimes if it hurts like super bad, we have to go to the doctor."