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Tucson boy with Down Syndrome surprised by meeting favorite character

Posted at 9:52 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 07:53:26-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — A Tucson boy with autism and Down Syndrome got to meet the life-size version of his favorite toy, Wednesday.

Gabriel Allen loves "Sesame Street," and especially loves the character of Grover.

In October, Gabriel lost his Grover toy at Park Place Mall.

Gabriel's mom said he spent days searching for the toy. Even calling out for him.

"It's his comfort toy," said Sheila Allen.

KGUN 9 asked the community for help finding the lost toy, and they didn't disappoint. Unfortunately no one ever found his Grover, but people offered to send him new toys and even handmade crafts.


Then, on Christmas Day, a very specially offer came ringing.

"This man who works for 'Sesame Street Live' contacted us and asked if we wanted to come and do a meet and greet," Allen said.

That man is Alex Lopez.

He travels with "Sesame Street Live" now, but he's from Tucson, and saw KGUN 9's story on Facebook. Then he decided to help.

"We thought it would be a fun opportunity to make a dream happen," Lopez said.

"I'm almost in tears," Allen said. "It's going to be something to remember forever."

The crew also surprised Gabriel with a new Grover toy, and Sheila said he really likes it.