"When we found out we were going to have twin boys, we had baseball games, jumping in mud puddles and many more hopes and dreams for our sons. We were so full of joy and excitement. When our boys came into this world, everything changed. Our world became full of specialists, appointments, therapies, feeding tubes and a lot of unknown.
Jake and Kellan were born on March 30, 2008 when I was 24 weeks pregnant. We were told that they had a less than 25% chance of survival. Our babies' health changed from minute to minute. The first few weeks were very touch and go. I still remember every moment. From the terrifying realization that my water had broken to the smell of the soap in the NICU. We held our babies for the first time 37 days after birth for just minutes at a time. They spent 129 days in NICU at St. Mary's Hospital including a transfer to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital and 6 weeks at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI for 6 major eye surgeries to try and save their sight.
As the years have gone by, we have seen tremendous strength, growth, determination and our hearts have begun to heal. Our dreams that once were, have changed into new dreams and new hopes for our boys. Jake and his brother have overcome so much in their 8 years with us. They inspire us in so many ways and teach us a lot about life."
- Jenna & Jim Gainey
- Jake has severe spastic diplegia cerebral palsy. This form of cerebral palsy affects Jake's core, digestive system and lower part of his body. He cannot sit up or walk independently and at this time the doctors do not feel he will.
- Jake also was diagnosed with Retinopathy of Prematurity. This is an eye disease that is caused when the blood vessels of the retina grow abnormally because they are not fully developed. It became very aggressive and took a lot of Jake's sight. He does have some vision, but in order to become independent he will need to learn braille.
- Jake developed seizures at age 4 and shortly after was diagnosed with epilepsy.
- Jake has had 8 major eye surgeries, over 30 Exams Under Anesthesia for his eyes, Double hip surgery, nissen and feeding tube surgery, 6 sets of ear tubes and hardware removal from hip surgery.
- He went through the Intensive Feeding therapy at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital to learn to eat better. It was successful, but he still is fed by his feeding tube daily.
Lifting Jake is becoming more difficult as he is getting older and bigger. He and his equipment continue to get heavier and the need for a ramp and lifts will become a necessity. This van is not a luxury, but necessary for the Gainey family and will help them in many ways. We want Jake to feel comfortable and his transport to be the safest possible.
On November 29, 2016, Jake will be getting fitted for his first power wheelchair and a new manual chair as well.
Minivan Purchase: $32,900 and up
MiniVan Conversion: $28,644.00
Total: $60,000 - $80,000
Insurance does not cover any of the cost.
They go to Toyota and purchase a new van. New because the conversion needs to last as long as possible. Then the van goes to Clock Mobility where it is sent to BraunAbility, the conversion is applied, and finally they get the new vehicle.
The Gainey's are an incredible family, on top of being dedicated and loving parents to their three sons, Jim serves the city of Grandville as a police officer and Jenna is a full time mom and part time hairdresser. They are active in both their church and community. As friends, family and community we have been given a powerful opportunity to help meet their need. Our hope is to get as many people possible to support Jake and the Gainey family. So please give generously and share actively on social media, and together, we can get those new wheels for Jake!
On behalf of the Gaineys, we want to thank you for your support and generosity.
- Jackie & Nathan Messelink