Thank You…Tradesmen International Donates $5000 to Gavy!

At Tradesmen International, they work exceptionally hard as construction recruiters and construction employers to provide contractors and industrial companies America’s best skilled craftsmen.

But that isn’t all they provide.

They also provided an exceptionally heartwarming donation for sweet baby Gavin’s fundraising campaign in the amount of $5000.

Thank you Tradesmen International for helping to build a future this precious baby never dreamed he could have. Your gracious empathy will carry him onto and into many wonderful little-boy adventures and we are so grateful!

Thank You Carroll College Student Nursing Association

An Irish Blessing
“Leprechauns, castles, good luck and laughter.
Lullabies, dreams and love ever after…

Sweet baby Gavin is lucky indeed for he has found a pot of gold at the end of the Student Nursing Association and tender-hearted Carroll College leprechauns’ rainbows. With compassion and grace they have used their healing hands to embrace his precious life, and to date, have already raised $1,374.81 on his behalf. Thank you all so very much for sharing your warm hearts – we are grateful!

May you always walk in sunshine
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.”

Gav’s Little Body Being Pushed Hard for Transplant…Testing for Donor Match Begins

Gav threw up blood this past weekend. He has also started to throw up when he is sleeping. Luckily, Jay and I heard him and were able to get in there and get him on his side. It has been scary. I feel like I can’t sleep for fear I may miss something. He is just being pushed so hard and his little body…I just feel for him. It’s a hard road to watch, let alone travel. He’s now our littlest roommate so we can have viewage 24/7.

We’ve also had to increase his injections for his blood count to every four days. So he gets his daily growth hormone and now he gets his other injection bi-weekly. He cries the instant he sees me start prepping the needles.

On the plus side he is still gaining weight, which is what is bringing us closer to transplant. I have to just keep in mind that transplant is our ultimate goal. We NEED to do this for him to survive. There are no other options here, this is the only way.

In fact, the most exciting news to date is that they are going to start working me up to see if I can donate my kidney to Gav. I am very excited, now I feel like we are finally honing in on transplant.

We have been lucky, things for Gavin could have been a lot worse. He could be experiencing so much more pain, but it’s hard to accept that he has to experience even an ounce of pain. It’s really a battle to inflict all of this on your child when he looks and seems to be fine.

Gav is beginning to sign some words. OK, so not the ones that I have been working on teaching him (and the ones that Lauren reminds me to do when I forget). But he’s signing none the less. He hits his head when he is excited and wants something (so much for pointing and/or ‘more’). When he is hungry instead of signing ‘eat’ he climbs up and starts eating my hair (gross). So all in all he’s not exactly doing what I am training him to do, but he’s signing none the less and getting his point across(: He is also now able to put himself from being on his tummy into a sitting position and is quite pleased with himself.

Lauren has started to scrub in and wear her mask at night when it is time to hook Gav up. It’s very endearing that she wants to be involved in her brother’s treatment. Also a little sad. I know when she’s happy when she’s singing her songs. She is the little singer in the house.

We try to make things normal, but I can’t help but wonder what all of this does to her. I just pray that she and Gavin don’t remember all this. When he throws up, she comes and gives him a little kiss on his noggin and tells him that she loves him. It’s been a rough adjustment for her with him getting sick so much. Things aren’t as “normal” as they were and with all the added cleaning and laundry it leaves less time for me to have one on one time with her. And I am admittedly not as calm as I was before. Luckily, she has her Polly Pockets and she escapes into their imaginary world.

Thursday was nice, as we managed to get in a good snowman build before all the snow melted (no disappointment there)! Lauren reminded me of how much fun it is to step on a little panel of ice and watch it crack. She had fun eating the snow (gave firm warning: only white snow) and the delight of putting together a snowman’s face (it was hard for her to give up the baby carrot because that’s what horses eat and she’d really like to just eat it too, please please please…okay).

When the snow melted, we raced boats with the neighborhood kids in the streets. It was so sweet to watch these little aluminum foil rafts streaming their way to the gutter and getting swiped back up to safety just in time.

We also took advantage of the one day heat fest (hey anything above 60 right now is like tropical) and went to the zoo. It was so much fun. Lauren is a regular zoo expert since she and her Grams go weekly and her favorite was the new giraffe exhibit (it is really amazing, you are so close to them). Gav started clapping when he saw “Lipz and Tommy” the orangutans. It was hilarious!

Children are really awe inspiring. The way they view the world, the way they love and laugh and take each moment in. They are the reason that hope is eternal and love is ever lasting! What a delight!


New Photos: Gavin, Lauren and Gav’s First Birthday

Below are some birthday photos of Gavin with his first birthday cake. Gavin’s first birthday was on Friday, February 23, 2007. Happy first birthday to our precious baby!


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Here are some new photos of Gavin and his sister Lauren taken in February and March, 2007.


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Let the Sun Shine Baby…Gav’s Closer to Being On Chart for Height and Weight

My cousin sent me a card that said, “Wear cool boots, they make you feel like you can handle anything.” This would have been a week for some cool boots! Gav gets so much food at night his body isn’t able to process it all so he is like a little vomit volcano. I feel so bad for him, but he doesn’t seem to be phased by it. It’s a little more work for us – changing his outfits like four times a day, and a lot more cleaning and laundry. Apparently, the vomit volcano thing is “typical”, although I don’t think anything about this whole experience falls under the category of “typical”!

Gavs had his zillion and one shots for his one year check up (his poor little legs are all puffy and swollen). We were very pleased to hear that his head circumference finally falls on the lowest notch of normal – which is… awesome (does anyone use that word anymore?). He is getting closer to being on chart for his height and weight. He looks like a little boy now, for so long it seemed baby baby baby, but now I can see the distinct difference. Even in his mannerisms. He wants his sippy cup and is trying out sucking through straws and wants to be in the thick of things. He is watching his sister like a hawk and is ready to leave mommy to be with the big kids! Still not crawling, but dangerously close and his bottom left tooth is giving him a run for his money! Teething is eternal!

Lauren and I often play a game, “I love you more” and then we list things that we love and tell each other that we love each other more. Example, I love you more than unicorns and bubble gum. We were in the midst of it during our afternoon lunch and it was my turn. As I was looking at my little beauty, I was about to begin when I hear her fake burp. This gives me slight pause and then she holds up her little hand to let me know she has something important to say, “I am going to burp the alphabet, erp A” What????!!!! Where did she learn this, to my knowledge Jay nor I can complete this feat so I have no idea where my baby girl is coming up with this stuff. She has a way to keep you on your toes! She also informed me that she knows that metamorphosis is when caterpillars build a chrysalis and become butterflies. I can thank Baby Einstein for that. She is up to three books now for bedtime story time and we get a new sack of books each time that we go to the library. The library here just hooked up to a whole new network (sweet) and we can find everything online and have it sent here. I’m like a kid in a candy store, ahh the little simple things!

I bought Lauren a booster this week and decided to go with a real simplistic one, just a plain ‘ol booster. Sometimes you look around at all the baby gear and you think, man this is over the top, so I thought I’d scale back. The first day I put her in it she falls asleep and is tilted at a 90 degree angle flopped to the side. My advice is to get one with a back if you are in mid transition of the car seat debacle…this one isn’t going to cut it! Any suggestions out there on a good one?

Take care and let the sunshine baby!


Thank You Darlington!

“The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”…Mitch Albom

The wonderful community of Darlington have lovingly devoted themselves to helping our sweet baby Gavin. On Saturday March 3rd, they continued their devotion by holding a special benefit in his honor.

Due to the generosity of these incredible people, the benefit raised an amazing $15,000 for Gavin’s fund. Between this benefit and collection canisters in the area, the devoted citizens of Darlington have raised close to $20,000 to help give our darling baby a second chance at life.

There are some special thank yous to extend to those involved with Gavin’s Darlington benefit:

A very special thank you to Jay’s parents, Nancy and Dean Winslow, and the entire Winslow family for planning the benefit.

Another special thank you goes to Ranch House Lanes for hosting the event.

Many thanks to the Wiegel family and friends for donations and contributions.

We are so thankful to everyone who donated an item, volunteered, provided entertainment, purchased an item, came to the event, and supported Gavin. The event was perfect and exceeded our wildest expectations.

As always, we are endlessly grateful to the special Darlington community for their prayers, donations, and support for Gavin and his family. There are no words to express our appreciation for your continued love and devotion to Gavin.

Thank You to Our Littlest Angels

One of the sweetest sites under heaven had to be the Ft. Atkinson Preschool and Childcare children conducting their “nickel war” from February 19th through February 28th on behalf of sweet baby Gavin. Together, these darling angels raised $429.51. But, that is not the end of the story. Ms. Kay Sweet, their lovely instructor, decided to add her personal donation to baby Gavin’s campaign fund, bringing their total to an awe-inspiring $500.

The word angel comes from the Greek word, “aggelos” and means “messenger”. We graciously thank these extra-special, extraordinary “messengers” for working so hard to tell sweet baby Gavin’s story, and for their deep love in embracing his unfolding destiny. We are grateful!

A Special Thank You from Gavin’s Mommy

I’ve sat at my computer probably ten times trying to find the right words to say. The words that could convey how much it means to us to know that Gav won’t have to worry about the financial cost of his disease, and what a relief it is to know that he will never be denied anything because we don’t have the financial weight to back us. Thank you to everyone who was inspired by his journey and donated, volunteered, prayed and/or shared their story with us. It has been a journey, one that will last a lifetime and each component of it will stay with us always!

Thank you to everyone who has helped us get to this point! It means so much to us and to Gav. He has had many blessings in his life, and this is another one! May all good deeds come full circle and may you be equally as blessed and have the pleasure of knowing how blessed you are!

We will throw a celebration during the summer to thank all of you when it’s nice outside and there aren’t so many illnesses to spread! Details to come!