Transplant Has Just Been Canceled…Gav’s Liver Enzymes Are Elevated.

Transplant has been canceled. Gavin’s liver enzymes are elevated. They believe it is a reaction to the antibiotic Augmentin but need to watch the numbers go down before they can transplant into it.

We are devastated right now, but know that everything happens for a reason. They are anticipating a January transplant date if his liver starts to improve over the weeks. It looks like Gav will be having a kidney less Christmas…we will get there, I guess today was not his day.


We’re Ready…This Is Gavin’s Moment…May God and the Angels Watch Over Him.

We are stronger having this army of people behind us. Thank you for all your kind, encouraging loving words, you have no idea what they have done to comfort us along the way, it has been a roller coaster.

We are strong, Gavin is strong right now. He is eating, he is not vomiting and he is ready. We are going into this embracing his new life and will face whatever comes as it comes with God at our side…This is his moment, may all the angels be watching over him as we prepare to see his medical team aid in God’s miracles!

May you all be blessed and have a very Merry Christmas!

All our love,
The Winslows

Please Send Your Love Electronically to Jill and Gavin

Just a quick note to everyone from Gavy’s website admin and proud cousin. Thank you to all who have already posted notes of encouragement, prayer, and well wishes for Jill’s and Gavin’s upcoming surgeries this Thursday. It means so much to Jill and Jay to have such support from those who have been touched by Gavin in some way.

If you have not done so, we ask you to send your love electronically through Gavin’s website. Please post your messages to Gavin’s Guestbook, or you may also send personal email or electronic card links via the “Contact Us” page of Gav’s website. All of those cards and messages will get to Jill and Jay personally.

On the advice of all doctors involved in this process, Jill and Jay cannot allow any visitation (other than very immediate family) at the hospital or their home for a minimum of 6 weeks.

Also, no plants or flowers can be sent to either Jill or Gavin because of Gavin’s immunocompromised condition. For those of you who wish to do something special, please consider donating to a children’s charity in Gavin’s name. Some special charities, chosen by Jill, are listed on the “Donate Now” page on Gav’s site.

There are not enough words to express our gratitude for all the love shown to Gavy. We will post updates on Jill and Gavy’s progress on his site as quickly as we can to keep everyone informed. We ask for your prayers and support and to keep walking with us on Gavy’s incredible journey.

It’s time to go make more miracles happen! And as Jill would say, “May you see beauty in your day!”.

Kristin Carpenter

Gavy’s Transplant is a Go for Thursday, November 29th!

We have our sea legs back. We are in the boat with transplant. I should know better than to journal at the end of an eternal night!

We are very excited to see Gavin and to have made it to this point, we have been blessed beyond words. May this new kidney give you that touch of extra spunk Gav and may recovery be quick! It’s time you get to live your life at 110% just like your sister! I’m sure you’ll be a bolt of lighting just like your sissy!


New Focus for Gav’s Website

We want to announce some changes regarding our son Gavin’s fundraising website. Due to the tireless efforts of many kind-hearted people, we have met our fundraising goal. Gavin’s website will now focus on his life and our family life through transplant and thereafter. We ask you to please continue on our journey with us through our journals, medical updates, pictures and videos of the Winslow family.

We would like to thank COTA for supporting us in our battle to support our son’s lifetime medical expenses as well as our fundraising chairperson, my mother, Jane Schwalbach. Special thanks to Kristin and Vinny Carpenter who have developed and maintain our beautiful website. It allows us to get information out without it becoming the only thing that we can think about or talk about.

We are grateful to all of our fundraising chair people and volunteers who supported us and to our amazing families and friends who have wrapped their arms around us and carried us through. Also, we cannot begin to thank all the beautiful strangers who have touched Gavin’s life whether it was through emotional, physical, or financial support.

It has been a nationwide effort, and there is not a day that goes by that we don’t thank our lucky stars! A heartfelt thank you to our medical team of doctors who have done a phenomenal job at keeping Gavin alive and well while we await transplant! We are forever grateful and humbled by this experience.

May you know the beauty in your life when you have it and may all good things come your way!

Thank you again,
Jill and Jay Winslow

Donate Life – Letter to Gavin & Lauren

I can’t help but cry when I have you alone, not in front of Lauren, but when its just you and I. I think of all that you have been through and all that we are going to ask of you at just 22 months of age…I think of having to carry you into the hospital and part of me thinks that I can’t do it, what I really want is to run in the other direction. To walk you through those doors means that all the praying and wishing that I have done for the last several years of my life has not fixed this…this is our option, this is our Hail Mary.

For every surgery I have been the last thing you see as the mask gets put on and I have been the first one to hold you when you woke up and this time I will be laying there in some other bed with no comfort to give. I can’t help but feel weak when I know that I am going to have to hug you and Lauren that morning and know quite simply that there truly are no promises, although I would like to say that there are, I have learned that life can be that cruel at times.

Instead, my sweet babies, I will tell you of the promises that I will keep… I promise to love you and cherish you for all of my days. I promise to show you the world and to teach you to be kind to others. I promise to teach you courage and strength and curiosity, although you both do those so well already. I promise to push you into ambitious goals and stand behind you no matter what you face. I promise to teach you what love is, how strong and mighty it can be.

Someday, when you have children of your own, you will understand this fight in a different light. You never truly understand the love of a parent until you are one…you both have given me the greatest thing that life has to offer, a purpose other than self. Someday you will look back on this day and realize what an easy decision this was in the end to make – you and your sister already have my heart… this is just a kidney. May God be holding us close!

Donate Life!

November 29th Transplant Date Still a Go…Thanks for Walking the Road With Us!!!

She should be called “mother-less” nature for daylights savings time, no true mother would mess with their kids internal clocks like that! Wow, we have been in a whirlwind of chaos…we have the earliest Christmas decorations up so that they will be in place at home upon our arrival home from the hospital…yes that means it’s a go, November 29th, Gavin will get his new and improved life (as long as he can kick this cold he has)!

Lauren got a really severe respiratory cold in the middle of the Bee Movie…we had her in urgent care and the ER throughout the week. She was so sick she told me that “even my hips won’t wiggle.” Now that’s one serious cold if it dampened her beat! Lulu is finally on the mend after a week of sleepless coughy nights! We have started her up on an allowance and daily chore wheel so she can start getting a concept that things cost money. She advised us that she was willing to do chores as long as she didn’t have to “work as hard as daddy” or “work for the man.”

Gavin’s been workin’ hard on his vocab. He is a butterball talking machine! It’s kind of fun, he’s in the stage where you are constantly trying to get them to repeat things back to you (no he cannot say supercalafragilistic, I asked him already). We have set up Christmas in the house already so it’s all put together for when we get back, and he thinks that every shiny round ornament is, of course, a ball. He does have quite the wicked arm (of course Jay is already thinking he is going to take the Cubbies to the series while I on the other hand, believe he would be better suited for the Brewers). He is loving the dancing animals that sing a song and move, he is starting to bop a little standing up, and will pretty much drop a beat on demand!

He is back to his vomiting, but in a couple of weeks, post transplant we are hoping that will go away as well. Needless to say we are in lock down to try to avoid any further germ exposure so close to transplant…immediate healthy adult family only.

On a serious note, there are so many many people that we are thankful for this year…his doctors (Wigton, Basir, Kym, Ehlert, Pan, Van Why, Bartosh, Neary, Anderson, Balcom, Kryger, Serogy, Sollinger, Conway, Erickson, Salvatierra, Concepcion, Comisky and Forester), his nurses (Karen, Linda, Jan, Dawn, Jackie, Emily, Mary Lou, Amy D, Amy M, Norma, Rick) our families, friends and strangers that have shown us that life is a beautiful thing and although this road has been lonely at times, we never walked it alone. Thank you all for your constant support—- it’s taken the world to raise this child!

Better get back to the preparations. We have so many, many, many things left to do! May you feel loved and equally blessed this Thanksgiving!


New Tentative Transplant Date is November 29th!

My mind lately has reminded me of my music collection…eclectic and cluttered. When I realized I was paying more attention to the Target toy ad than the happenings in Pakistan, I knew that I needed to check myself. It’s so easy to get so lost. Thoreau said it best, “simplify simplify”… I need to find my Walden Pond.

We have a date, a very tentative one, November 29th if the stars so align (or the specialists agree)…we did not get the news back on his last blood test that we had hoped, so it leaves us in a bit of a holding pattern. I feel like whispering this, as to not jinx it, but Gavin is the best that he ever has been. He is strong, and eating(only a little, but we’ll take it) and the vomiting has stopped. Gavs is attempting to stand on his own and walk about four steps at a time to me. He gets so puffy proud of himself, like the Packer fans did last Sunday. He finds himself particularly funny and throws his head back to laugh at himself, I guess we will have two hams this Thanksgiving!

Lauren let me know that she is starting to “get into inappropriate things” (i.e. bathroom humor is a big hit). The other day she said “dang it” and I said that we should come up with a different word, “how about bubble guts instead,” I said and she looked at me and told me that it was a “very inappropriate” thing to say that. I told her that if that’s the case she should love it—-hence I hear “bubble guts” about thirty times a day! She is coming off of her sugar high from Halloween trick or treat and is wondering when Thanksgiving will squeak by so that we can get to Christmas already. She is obsessed with Johnny Cash’s “Burning Ring of Fire” and we are putting an obscene amount of holds on his CD’s from the library.

Jay and I had an over over coaching moment (again) last weekend when we took the kids to the church community day with a rock climbing wall…we strapped Lauren in so she could get her climb on, and proceeded to try to “coach” her through it, she turned around to hear our words of wisdom and fell off. You’d think that we would have learned our lesson with the big wheel race…but finally it hit me today…some things as a parent are left better unsaid, and some things they have to do on their own. That’s just tough to do, let them do their own things, make their own mistakes, and climb their own mountains.