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Be Gavin Strong

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Please donate to Alex’s Lemonade Stand in Gavin’s memory
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I don’t know if you remember in a previous post I had mentioned that I had joined Icing Smiles. I also have joined Cakes Against Cancer for Kids.

Last August, I had received my first call to action. I was asked to make a chocolate TMNT cake for a little four year old boy named Gavin, fighting neuroblastoma. I jumped at it, and made what I hoped was a very special cake for a very special boy. The family is from West Virginia, and they moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to be closer to CHOP. Gavin was napping when I dropped the cake off, so I didn’t get to meet him, but Mom is a very sweet, loving person, as are all of the grandparents I met that day.  For some reason even though I never met him,  Gavin tugged at my heart strings. At first I thought it was just because he was a sick little boy, that I got the joy of making him smile. But I’ve had 2 more little boys since then, another 4 year old with cancer, and a 1 year old with pulmonary hypertension, and Gavin still stuck out for me.

Just last Sunday morning, Gavin’s mom contacted me to see if I could make a Celebration of Life/ 4 1/2 birthday cake for Gavin. They were looking for a sand castle cake, as Gavin has been having a blast playing in the sand at the ocean lately.  See, he’s been through all of the chemo therapies that would treat his cancer, and none of them worked. They did have one last hope though. There is this chemo, that is still in the trials. Ultimately, their insurance denied them, but the drug company accepted them! They would grant them financial aid to help them pay for the new chemo. All of us…close friends and Facebook friends rooted for Gavin, and was grateful that he was accepted, this meant that not all options have been exhausted…and there was HOPE.

Yesterday morning (Thursday) Mom texted me…How fast can  I make the cake?
What??  What happened to Gavin that she’s asking me this??!?
Mom then explained that Gavin had suffered a stroke, and was now actively bleeding in his brain.
I did what anyone would do for a little boy who’s family desperately needed a smile, I packed up my computer, and left work to finish Gavin’s cake.
I called a good friend of mine (who has no experience making/decorating cakes, except what I’ve shown her) and we went to work. She would ice and “sand” one cake, while I would ice and fondant another. I knew this was a race against time. I couldn’t have gotten Gavin’s cake finished in time, if it weren’t for Wendy. I know she doesn’t think what she did was much, but to me it meant the world.

Hubby and I were on the road by 6:30 pm to deliver Gavin’s cake. Now anyone who lives in the Philadelphia area, especially this winter knows the pot hole Hell we live in now…well imagine trying to deliver a cake while trying to dodge all of those pot holes. Hubby deserves a medal for getting it there in one piece! We arrived a few minutes after 7. I totally understand security, and why we need it. There are innocent children in that hospital. The gentleman at the front desk wouldn’t let me up because I wasn’t on the visitor’s list. He called Gavin’s nurse, but she was busy. So mom’s friend, Heather came down to meet me. Heather also apparently works at CHOP. She wanted to usher me and hubby right up, but alas, they needed Gavin’s mom or nurse to give permission. A few minutes later Gavin’s nurse ended her shift, and as she was leaving, she saw us all waiting by the desk, questioned what was going on. She then told the gentleman at the info desk, “Gavin is actively dying, he has less than 24 hours, and has a DNR. He has no visitor restrictions. Anyone can see him, if they wanted to. Please let this woman up” That was all it took.

Heather escorted me and hubby up to Gavin’s room. Mom was laying in bed, holding Gavin in her arms. This would be the first time I would meet the superhero. And considering the situation, the last time.  I put the cake on the hospital table, that was decorated with a beachy table cloth, and had a fishnet on it, with beachy plates.  I went to take the cake out of the box and mom just stared and with tears in her eyes said, it’s just what I had imagined.  The room was filled with so much love, you could feel it. I felt very special to be a part of this, to be able to feel the love in that room, it was a privilege. Everyone there sang a quiet Happy Birthday (remember this was also a 1/2 birthday).

Gavin has a little brother, Greyson. Greyson noticed there just happen to be a sand shovel in the room. I forget who said it, but Greyson was given the go ahead…dig into the cake. It was the sweetest thing I’ve seen. They then proceeded to cut the remainder of the cake with the sand shovel…very appropriate.

Before we left, Mom said when things have calmed down, she’d like to do lunch. I’d love to get to know her. I know she’s a spectacular woman, and I’d love to hear first hand about Gavin.

It is now 3:00 pm. I haven’t heard any news on Gavin yet. Then again, I’ve only met the family twice. I don’t expect them to contact me, but I can’t stop thinking about them and him. The Morris family will be in my prayers.

Tosha, I can’t wait to do lunch and get to know you better. I don’t know any other mother out there that’s as strong as you.
God Bless the Morris family, and may God welcome Gavin with open arms and hold him tenderly until he can be reunited with his family once again.

Update:
Today is March 3rd, Gavin is still with us. He is being  Gavin Strong. He is comfortable in mom’s arms. Please continue to pray for Gavin and his family.

UPDATE:
March 10, 2014
Gavin traded in his superhero cape this morning for angel wings. He will forever be in my thoughts and prayers. I wish Tosha, Chad and their family all the strength they will need to get through this very difficult time.

gavins wingsAnd the fight against Neuroblastoma will continue. Please consider a donation to Alex’s Lemonade Stand in Gavin’s name.

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Professional pictures credited to: © Sweet Peas Photography, LLP {Owned by Mindy Vinson & Shelley Rasmussen} All images appearing in this album are the exclusive property of Sweet Peas Photography, LLP and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws. Images may be shared on Facebook but may not be cropped or altered in any way.

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