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Gavin Vander Schaaf, the Second Serve National Director of Human Resources, has overcome extreme adversity in his life. At the age of 5, Gavin was diagnosed with a Chiari malformation, a brain malformation that causes him to have chronic pain with physical activity. Gavin had to undergo two brain surgeries at the ages of 6 and 7. Through all this, Gavin was able to persevere and become the person he is today.


On Aug. 17, 2022, Gavin gave a speech to Life Serve Youth Foundation explaining his story and how he learned to find joy in life through all the struggles. Gavin has learned that although he may not be able to change the pain he experiences, he can still live a fun and meaningful life. Gavin realizes that helping others and giving back is what truly fulfills his life.


“Probably my favorite quote of all time he [Andre Agrassi] says is something to the point of ‘helping others is the only perfection there is.’ And especially in the last couple years, I’ve basically been basing my entire life off of that,” Gavin said.


With this positive outlook of life and the goal of helping others, Gavin joined Second Serve where he is able to help kids around the world.


Gavin continues to help others wherever he can and uses his experiences to fuel his passion.


“So, if there's one thing that you get from what I am saying here today, is that whatever your pain is, your baggage, your story, whatever you have to endure everyday of your life, don’t let it hold you back. Instead, use that as your fuel and let it push you towards the things that you want to accomplish and you let yourself better your own life, and then move forward and better other people’s lives around you,” Gavin said.

By Sydney Herstein

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