Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fundraiser for Baby Gabriel

Gabriel wearing an owl hat I made.

Tomorrow will be the first day of the fundraiser I'm doing to raise money for Gabriel and his family. I feel compelled to do something, anything for this family. They're inspiring, and their story is so incredibly touching it brings me to tears every time I reread it. Here's a quick summary of their story:

At 20 weeks, Nick and Julia found out that their son, Gabe, would have Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. HLHS requires 3 surgeries, two within months of birth, to even have a chance of survival. Gabe is approaching his second surgery. To make the circumstance tougher, Gabe was also born with Down Syndrome. To date, there hasn't been an HLHS patient with DS who has received a heart transplant, which Gabe will inevitably need. I am doing this fundraiser to help out two amazing parents: Nick and Julia. After being displaced in Seatlle (from Idaho) for the past five months, Nick has lost his job, and they've lost their apartment. I can't imagine the financial struggle their facing, so I want to raise as much money as possible to send them.

I'm also hoping to raise awareness about HLHS and hopefully inspire some [change]. Wouldn't it be amazing if Gabriel was the first person with DS to receive a life-saving heart transplant?

No matter how grim the doctors tell Nick & Julia their son's chances are, they continue to push forward. When the doctors told them to take Gabe home to die, they refused, and soon Gabe's body started functioning the way they needed it to so that he could be a candidate for surgery. They rely on their faith in God and the power of prayer to stay positive. When you look at their pictures, you would never know the battle they've been fighting. They look like any other happy family. 

I'm reminded of how often I take the little things for granted... How often I think, I am so ready for this day to be over! Boy, do I take those bad days for granted.

Everybody under my roof,
Is healthy- knock on wood.
Oh but I sure do sweat the small stuff,
I don't thank God as much as I should.

Tonight I'm thinking about Tommy and Jenny,
And how they spent the last four years.
All those extended stays in Memphis,
All the sleepless nights, the prayers, the tears.

It's just been one of those days,
Where I was thinking poor me.
I got no right to complain I guess,
Cause right now all I can see.

Is that family moving back to Target House,
It makes me realize.
It's just been one those days for me,
But for them its been one of those lives.

And so it's been one of those days,
I let things get to me.
I got no right to complain,
Cause when I look around I see.

Folks that are fightin' for every breath,
And it makes me realize.
It's just been one for those days for me,
But for them it's been one of those lives.
"One of Those Lives" by Brad Paisley

And now I'll leave you with links to Nick and Julia's blogs if you'd like to read more about their fight and their story since Day One. Also, I'll leave a few sneak peaks of what you'll find in my Fundraiser for Gabriel (starting tomorrow).

Make sure you come by tomorrow to see what else there is and to take advantage of some amazing prices while also helping out this awesome family! :)

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