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Gray’s Fight against Leukemia - help Lois Gilbert

$24,266 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 285 people in 3 months
Created December 22, 2018
Gray was a healthy, active 6-year-old boy until this week his life was changed forever. On 12/18/2018 he was given the devastating diagnosis of B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  Gray is currently admitted to the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, where he will continue to be treated for cancer. Gray faces a lengthy treatment plan with many different chemotherapies and various medications.

Lois is doing her very best to cover a mortgage, bills, and the costs of living. She will not be able to work for the foreseeable future due to the complexity of the care needed to save his life. As taxing as the emotional toll is for her – and for us, her family and friends – there’s the economic reality of what is needed to give Gray the care that he needs in the coming years.  

But we are not powerless here. While we will continue to pray and send our love, there is more that we can do. We – her nieces Grace Merchlinski and Chrissy Kozloski -- are creating this campaign despite her pride and aversion to asking for any kind of help. We are asking for your help to fight this economic battle so that Lois can focus on helping Gray with his battle.
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Gray continues with treatment tomorrow 3/11/19. #2 infusion of phase three. Treatment will continue in various phases for the next 2-3 years. Port access is scary! There are creams and sprays that help to numb the skins surface, however having a gloved, masked person coming at you with a needle attached to a tube can be frightening for anyone. Gray tolerates it like a champ because he knows these medicines will help him heal. He has been running around playing with nerf toys, RC cars and is eager to join his friends at school once the germ risk decreases. Thank you to all that are praying and sending their support. We feel it and are so very, very, grateful. The Drs at UVA say Gray is progressing through treatment as he should be.
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Hard to believe two months have just about gone by since my sweet perfect little guy was diagnosed with this stupid speed bump kind of irritant!!! The support I have gotten to help Gray will change the course of this whole experience. I am awestruck by the kindness of people from my home town of Harford county Maryland, My new town Crozet, Virginia, my college friends, extended family in California and England and amazing people that I have only briefly come to know or hopefully will know.
Gray is closing what is referred to as “consolidation” this coming Friday 2/22/19 at 9:30am! Gray will get the 3rd lumbar puncture in a series of three. These have been tough due to complications during sedations. He has been at home and returning to UVA for his treatments. He will then start the 3rd phase which is IV chemo drugs through his permanent port every 10 days for about 40 days with a lumbar puncture at the end administering more medications into his spinal fluid. He is tough and incredibly resilient, he wants to know what going on and tries to get me to promise certain fearful situations will not happen again. I tell him I want a crystal ball but they are hard to find. I tell him I will be there every step of the way and he will come out on the other side tougher and more amazing than ever!!! I am able to be there for Gray because of everyone’s support. For that I am grateful ! Thank you. Lois
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Hi Everyone!

Last week was full of ups and downs for Gray. His bone marrow biopsy results came back showing that the first month of treatment was effective - yeah! This is technically referred to as “remission” but we would prefer to avoid that term as it doesn’t mean the same thing with Leukemia as it does other cancers. He’s not cured yet. Gray still has over three years of chemotherapy and treatment until he is out of the woods, so to speak. But so far so good — he is on the right track and for that we are so thankful.

The next phase of his treatment, Consolidation, was supposed to start last Friday but was pushed back one week due to some chest congestion Gray was experiencing. We were all anxious to get that started so it was a bit of a bummer, however, we understand that Gray needs to be as healthy as possible when chemotherapy is administered. Hopefully this next phase will begin this Friday.

We appreciate your continued prayers, acts of kindness, donations, and support. The outpouring of love and kindness has been overwhelming. Please keep sharing this fundraising campaign on social media. The more you share, the more exposure we get. We are so close to our goal and I know we can get there with your help. Thank you all.

The above photo is of Gray and his buddy Matthew. Many thanks to Matthew’s Aunt Vickie and Uncle Buck for the incredible Monster Truck they brought for Gray - he’s had a blast with it!
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Good morning, Everyone!

Good news! Gray finished the Induction phase of his treatment last Friday and considering all of the chemotherapy and high dose steroids he received, he’s doing well. The family is still adjusting to this “new normal” but are taking it day by day, minute by minute. He had a bone marrow biopsy this past Friday, January 18 which will determine the effectiveness of this first round of intensive treatment. The next phase which is called Consolidation, should begin this coming Friday, January 25.

I want to give a special shoutout to the amazing Crozet community, especially Laura DeNunzio and Gray’s classmates Sebastian, Leah, Isaac and Stephen. They put together a hugely successful bake sale that raised $565! We are simply blown away by the generosity and enthusiasm they have shown to help their friend in need. It means the world to Gray and all of his family. For those of us who aren’t close by, it provides comfort knowing that they are being embraced by such a loving and kind community.

I want to thank everyone who has donated, shared the campaign and especially for all the continued prayers. We absolutely couldn’t get through this without you. No matter how big or small, every single donation helps. Please keep sharing on social media. Every time someone shares, there is an uptick in activity on this fundraising campaign. We still have a way to go to meet our goal, and I’m confident that we will get there with your help.

With love,

Grace Merchlinski, on behalf of the Gilbert Family
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$24,266 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 285 people in 3 months
Created December 22, 2018
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