Emslie Pumpkin Farm Collecting Donations

Waukesha, WI – The family-fun Emslie Pumpkin Farm will be collecting donations, throughout October, in honor of Gavin Winslow, the sweet, seven-month-old baby in need of multiple kidney transplants.

Emslie Farm realizes that kidney transplants are expensive, around $200,000 each! They are aware that the first year of follow up for Gavin will cost about $40,000, without including any hospital stays he may have during his first year. Moreover, they know that Gavin will need to be monitored for the rest of his life. They understand that the medications needed to keep Gavin’s new kidney functioning, costs on average, $2,000 per month, and that this cost will incur for his family as long as his kidney continues to function. Since the average kidney transplant lasts only 15-20 years they recognize, that at some point, Gavin will need another transplant.

Because of all these expenses, Emslie Farm, along with Gavin’s family and friends, has joined with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association to raise $100,000.

The Children’s Transplant Association (COTA) is a national, nonprofit 501© 3 charity dedicated to helping families raise funds for transplant-related expenses. Over the past 20 years they have helped more than 1,000 families, in 49 states, in all regions of the United States, raise millions of dollars for their transplant-related expenses. Contributions to COTA, on behalf of Gavin Winslow, are 100% tax-deductible.

In addition to helping Gavin, Emslie’s Farm features hayrides, a corn maze and a small petting zoo. Pumpkins, corn stalks, straw bales, gourds, squash, and many other decorative and delicious Fall Harvest delights will also be for sale. To boot, Mr. Wil Emslie is sawing away to have his haunted barn ready for a touch of Halloween chills and thrills by next weekend.

Emslie’s Farm is located at S1W26417 Northview Road, Waukesha, WI. Please call 262.617.4032 for specific times and dates of all activities. Groups are invited to call as well.

For more information about Emslie’s Farm, or other fundraising and volunteer opportunities, please contact Jane Schwalbach, 262.549-6129 or janeschwalbach@yahoo.com

Growth hormone approved!

(Flu shots—Gav’s doctors have recommended that people in close contact with Gavin get a flu shot.)  Growth hormone approved! Well it was approved, and then they did take backs, and then it was approved again, so after jumping through some hoops and a lot of phone time we should be getting a shipment of his shots starting next week! They have decided to insert a g-tube at his Nov 15th surgery. Not going to comment too much on that because it makes me somewhat nauseous still at this point—another tube sticking out of my son—but it will give him added nutrition so that will help him get to transplant weight sooner. Our neighbors, the Porters gave Gavin his pea in the pod costume for Halloween, isn’t it adorable, he is our little sweet pea! Gavin got a new cousin this week, Annalyse—she’s super cute and Sally is recovering well too! Not too much else new, just trying to get mentally prepared for this surgery and get everything organized. Gavin is diggin the lit up pumpkins! Looking forward to Halloween! Hope all is well! Love ya, Jill

Insurance rejects Gavin’s growth hormone shots

The growth hormone was rejected Weds for Gavin so we are in the process for appeal, its pretty devastating. It is normal for kidney kids not to grow on their own, and the insurance is not convinced yet that it is medically necessary even though he has only grown five inches since birth and is too low to even be on the growth chart. This was an unexpected roadblock and its been a rough week since we found out on Weds. Its so frustrating to be begging all the time for your sons life, its like isn’t having to do therapy, nursing, 15 medicine doses a day, ten hours of dialysis a night enough now I have to prove to you that my son can’t grow, and you know that you are never talking to the person that makes the decision, just some poor customer service person who has no control to help you and feels horrible for you, but can’t do anything. I feel so mad and frustrated today, I keep wishing for all this to just go away…for Gavin to just be able to be a little baby and not have to fight this,its so overwhelming. I’m worried, only 50% of babies on dialysis make it to transplant and insurance companies that stand in the way of him making it there is unbelievable, I would like him to grow and start gaining more weight so that if anything goes wrong during his surgery on the 15th he will be big enough to survive on hemodialysis. Anyway, I am going to get back to the kids, but just wanted to up date you on the latest. Love ya, Jill

Bladder surgery set for November 15th..please pray

Surgery date Nov. 15(pray pray pray) for his bladder, not his transplant (just to clarify, he has to get bigger to get to transplant), dialysis is not going so great right now, we are officially exhausted and Gavin, having recovered for one day, is now coming down with a cough—hence, he won’t be at a lot of activities because we have to minimize his exposure to these illnesses. When it rains it pours! On the upside, he has figured out how to roll off his stomach(that is how much he hates tummy time) and is getting super strong with his sitting (somewhat top heavy so still a little tippy, but its adorable) Same infectious smile and the sweetest little disposition I’ve ever seen! No teeth yet, but we are on the watch! Hug all those you love! Miss ya and love ya—the Winslows

Crazy week…”It’s only in the darkness that you can see the stars”

Hi everybody! Gavin has a cold that he can’t shake…but I am hoping that we are at the tail end of it. Last week was crazy, we were at the dr’s mon, weds, fri and in the emergency room at 1 am on Sat, we didn’t bust out of there until 5 am the next day and Lauren had an emergency sleepover at Grammy’s house (which of course she loved) Hes having some urological issues that may force their hand into early surgery so now I am trying to bulk him up, he has lost about a lb. with this cold so its an uphill battle at this point. He is still only 14lbs and 24 inches long. We should be getting trained next week for a growth hormone shot that we will give him daily. Who knows, maybe the NBA is not completely out of his scope yet (: He is beginning to think he is pretty hot stuff and getting into rolling (hes very proud of himself once the roll is complete) His sitting is getting awesome and he really wants to do a lot of new things. Sometimes its easy to forget that he still has the mind of a 8 month old even though he is in the body of like a 3 month old! I’m still coaching him on the mama and I think we may be getting our first tooth soon(he is like a sea urchin, he sucks on everything with such desperation, Lauren is calling him a “sucker face”, he got me so good on the chin he left a mark!). We wanted to say thanks to everyone again for all their love and support, it means the world to us! I love reading the messages, they tend to be a highlight of my days! I heard a couple of quotes that are pertinent to my week this week: Fall seven times, get up eight and its only in the darkness that you can see the stars. Hope all good things are coming your way! P.S. I think Lauren is torn between carebear costume or cat (BIG delima) and Gavin is still undecided in the costume area, but I’m thinking pumpkin!