Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Silent Auction "Special Needs" Edition Preview!...

Today is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day.  Gavin was given the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy six days before he turned one.  A lot of people didn't believe me when I said he had CP, mainly because Gavin had such low tone.  Typically, when you think of Cerebral Palsy, you think of rigid tone.  To be honest, I never really believed that Gavin had CP.  But then again, I never believed most of the labels that were given to him.  My friend, Ellen, over at Love That Max wrote a great piece for today.  Ten things she'd like you to know about Cerebral Palsy.  Check it out!

What I did believe was that there was nothing in this world that would stop us from helping Gavin.  I fought on a daily basis, it seemed, to make sure he had everything he needed - and then some.  The special needs world is an expensive one, no doubt.  Insurance doesn't cover a lot - and anything with a "special needs" ticket comes with a "not so special" price tag making it unattainable for most.  We are lucky that we had the means to get Gavin a lot of the things he needed... and we wanted for him.  But I'm well aware that there are many families out there that aren't so lucky.

That is why it means so much to me to have a "Special Needs" section in my Silent Auction!!  In this section, my heart's desire is to put these items into the hands of a family who may not otherwise have been able to get it - for a fraction of the price.  I don't care about making money - even for the playground! - when it comes to this section.  I am just looking to help people, in Gavin's memory, get what they need for their child.

Here are the items I have so far - and there might be more added last minute that you'll see on Monday when the auction opens!  Don't forget to register for the silent auction HERE!  Enjoy this special, "Special Needs" Preview!

You may have seen this all over the news or on Facebook today as it just launched in Ireland!  You can read all about the launch - and the Mom-invented product in THIS article!  Firefly was generous enough to donate one for me to auction off.  This is definitely something I wish had been around when Gavin was alive.

The winning bidder will contact me so I can arrange for the Upsee to be shipped to them.

We bought a KidWalk for Gavin and he did so well in it.  It allowed him to participate in activities with us - like going for walks or playing in the back yard with Brian.
  It also supported him in an upright standing position, which was important to his developmental growth, his confidence... and it allowed us to train him to take natural steps.

Prime Engineering was generous enough to donate a KidWalk for my silent auction!  The winning bidder will contact me for instructions.  Prime Engineering will put the winner in touch with a local company to them so their child can be properly fitted.

Anyone who knows us knows how obsessed I am with this bed.  Made by a Dad in Maine who needed a safe bed for his own daughter, the Courtney Bed was the answer.  Each bed is handmade and built for a lifetime of use.  We could have used this bed into Gavin's adulthood.  Patrick Cyr has become a special friend to our family and was extremely generous to donate one of his beds for the auction.

This bed is so safe for a multitude of reasons.  The four corners are padded and the sidewalls are made with heavy duty marine awning.  The bed zips closed - which was important to us because Gavin had zero sense of danger and would have easily crawled right off a bed. 
I'm sure a family who worries about their wandering child would sleep better with this bed.  Ed and I say that the mattress on that bed is the most comfortable one in the house - and that's not far from the truth.  I can see why Brian loves sleeping in it every night - besides wanting to feel close to his brother.  Definitely check out the Cyr Design website to read more about this bed and see if it would be beneficial for your child.  Patrick Cyr has already hand made a neutral color bed for the winning bidder.  You will only pay what you bid plus shipping from Maine.  

Firefly, again, donated a GoTo Seat!  GoTo is a postural support seat that lets children participate in all those moments that make family life special.  Families worldwide use their GoTo seats on planes, swings, and Granny's dining chairs.  They make daily tasks easier, and means kids don't need to miss out.  Its flexibility of design allows GoTo to be fitted safely to any standard dining chair, supermarket trolley or bicycle seat.  
With GoTo, you can go do anything!  Go shopping, coloring, dining, playing, swinging and travelling!

I recently had the privilege of meeting Heidi LoStracco - half of the duo that designed the Speak for Yourself AAC Language App.  Heidi and her business partner, Renee Collender, were not only generous enough to donate THREE Speak For Yourself Apps (worth $200 each!) - but they are also one of our event sponsors.  I am so grateful for their support.  And meeting Heidi, I could tell she had a passion for her work and a true desire to help.  As she puts it, "Change the world - one voice at a time."

Heidi and Renee are both ASHA certified speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who work exclusively with clients who are functionally nonverbal.  They've worked together for several years teaching children who are not able to talk to use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices. The pair have seen success, and have presented results and videos at several national conferences. Following the implementation of an AAC device and the use of motor planning principles, five of the twenty-eight children in their study diagnosed with autism, developed verbal speech and no longer needed to use the device to communicate.
If you are a family with a non-verbal child and are looking for an answer, I would highly recommend that you look into the Speak For Yourself App.  And if you're looking for someone who has real life experience with the app - and one of the most knowledgeable Moms I know on assistive communication - check out my friend, Dana Nieder's blog:  Uncommon Sense.

If you've been a reader of this blog, you know who Dr. Thompson is.  She changed Gavin's life in many ways through a nutrition regimen that initially gave me a panic attack.  I was completely ignorant to making baby food - let alone any food, let's be honest - and Dr. Thompson not only gave me the confidence, but she virtually stayed with me to check on us along the way.  Changing Gavin's nutrition changed him neurologically, developmentally, it improved his skin and his appetite and he gained much needed weight with real food.  She had a lot of other health related tips and lifestyle changes that she recommended, too.  You can read about our journey with her HERE.  

I've been talking about and recommending her for years.  I'd be so happy for another family to consult with her about their child.  Or about themselves!  The winning bidder will receive a consultation (from anywhere you are via phone or skype) with her and several months of follow up!

For local bidders only:

Another very important person in our lives is Dr. Trish - who I've also been talking about for years.  It has always been hard for me to explain what Dr. Trish does, exactly - well, besides heal people.  She's done that for our family in numerous ways - physically and emotionally.  And I'm not just saying that to be cute or dramatic - I mean it sincerely.  I always said that much of Gavin's progress was attributed to her.  I took him to see her once a week for a long time - and each week, he made a tremendous gain in therapy, physically, developmentally - you name it.  Dr. Trish has become a beloved friend and I have referred many people to her - men, women, children and infants!  Brian and Hope see her once a week. And she was able to put my Rheumatoid Arthritis in remission when I was able to go to her regularly - which allowed me to avoid toxic arthritis medication.

But I've never been able to explain very well what she does.  Finally, I have something...

At Radiance, we will help you take care of yourself and begin healing. We do this through Radiance Energetic Technique.  This life transforming system of chiropractic utilizes both low force/light touch, and traditional methods of correcting and releasing subluxation.  Radiance Energetic Technique was developed by Dr. Trish Coughlin-Baitinger.  Dr. Trish's unique style utilizes a combination of KST, BGI energy medicine, cranio-sacral therapy, meridian therapy and emotional release techniques.  With her caring and nurturing touch, she is able to approach your illness, injury and blockages from many different levels.  At all times during the process your body/mind/spirit will be honored and encouraged to move into a state of balance.  It's your body that has the wisdom to heal itself.  Radiance Energetics merely reduces the interference to the nervous system so that you will remember how.

What can chiropractic energetics do for you?
Decrease stress
Reduce emotional and physical pain
Clear and release fear, guilt and anger at a deep cellular memory level
Remove emotional and mental blocks to enable you to move forward on your path
Activate a higher level of consciousness
Deactivate destructive patterns of behavior

Are you thinking... Kate, that really doesn't clear it up for me.  I get it.  It's definitely "alternative."  But I can assure you - it works.  And you won't meet a nicer, gentler and more compassionate person than Dr. Trish.  I have her donated new patient consult and treatment in the "special needs" section - but it can be for anyone.  I just know how much she helped Gavin... 

...and would love to see someone bring their child to her as well.  This is a local bid - you would need to live nearby to get to her office for a treatment.

I sincerely hope that all of these items will bless families who were once like me and wanted nothing but the best for their special needs child.  I'm very grateful for this opportunity to help you get what you need through Gavin's Playground Project.

I miss you, sweet Gavin!  This is all for you, buddy.
Love, Mommy.


  1. Wow! These are all amazing auction items - well done Kate! I know that you are going to not only raise a HUGE amount of money and provide the BEST playground ever, but you are also going to bless the lives of many, many families. Not only will some lucky families win these items but many more families will become aware of these items and hopefully be able to purchase and benefit from them. The number of lives that will be touched and blessed by your amazing family and the story of Super Gavin will just grow and grow. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do xx

  2. Kate, you are doing a phenomenal JOB with every aspect of this event. With that being said, I am so sad that i can not attend. I am in nursing school and feel as if i am smothering in homework and studying for test this semester! I will be bidding on several items from the silent auction. Also, I have not forgotten to "TELL YOU" about becoming an organ donor. I have a specific "date" that i am waiting for. Gavin, Brian, Hope and Darcy are so blessed to have you as their mother. Thanks for sharing your family with the world. You are so awesome. GAVIN will be watching & smiling from above (as he does every day!!!!


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