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You can help make a difference

By Staff | May 11, 2011

Greetings island residents and friends,

My name is Eric Gavin. Many of you know that my family has a long history and excellent reputation as being Sanibel’s earliest African-American settlers. Our history goes back to the early 1900s. Beginning with our grandparents, our family has shed much blood, sweat and tears in a labor of love that helped establish the foundation and cultivate the environment that we currently enjoy here on Sanibel and Captiva.

That tradition is still alive and well. The Gavin family members’ friendly faces can be found in a variety of different businesses on Sanibel. We continue to labor in love by providing residents and visitors with various goods and/or services. This we do with an unmistakable smile seasoned with kind, genuine words of encouragement and even a laugh or two.

Many of you know me as the youngest of the Gavin siblings, or perhaps you know me as one of the service techs for Gavin Plumbing. I was born and raised on Sanibel. I began working for Gavin plumbing in 1985. So many of you have watched me grow up into the man that I am today, a man who loves the Lord and loves his family dearly.

Currently my family needs your help. My Kaici was in complete renal failure and required daily dialysis treatment. A life saving kidney and pancreas transplant was the next step in saving her life. Great news: We received the call on April 4th and the procedure took place in Tampa April 5th. It required that we relocate for possibly 12 weeks or more.

Currently, no one in our household is working. My job did not allow for me to take time off with pay to be by my wife’s side. However, taking this time off is less expensive and certainly preferred over the expense of home health care. In addition to this, many uninsured medical expenses are already beginning to accumulate. Some will continue to follow us for the rest of our lives including a $500 a month for life anti rejection medication.

We have established a fundraising campaign with the National Transplant Assistance Fund. This is a 501(c) (3) organization. All contributions are tax deductable. The NTAF has set up a web site in my wife honor. Be sure to include her name (Kaici Love-Gavin) as you make your contributions.

We desperately need your help. This call came suddenly and a few hours later we were in surgery. Our lives are now changed forever. This was a very scary and yet exciting time for us. For Kaici, this means that for the first time in her adult life, she now lives free of needle sticks, insulin shots, blood sugar highs and lows and so many other complications that went along with being a full blown type 1 diabetic including dialysis. My beautiful wife is now experiencing freedom from the bondage of diabetes. The downside is that expenses immediately began to accumulate and quickly depleted our savings. As uncomfortable as I am in saying this, I must say that we need your quick and generous response.

There are several ways in which you can help. Thoughts and prayers are very powerful and are greatly appreciated. If you are willing to make a financial contribution, there are several ways in which you can do so. Call NTAF directly at 1-800-642-8399 or you can visit the website at www.ntafund.org and type in Kaici Love-Gavin in the “Find A Patient” box and follow the prompts. Finally, please network this information amongst your neighbors, friends and family members.

Please take a moment to get to know a little bit about Kaici and her medical history by reading her enclosed profile or by visiting the website. Thank you for your valuable time and consideration for my family and this cause.

With sincere gratitude I thank you,

Eric Gavin