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$9,870 of $100,000
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68 donations

This fundraiser ended on 06/30/13

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The parents maintain a daily log if you are interested. They update it daily and it can be found at www.drakeandkennedy.blogspot.com.

***Upcoming fundraisers 11/3/12 in New Braunfels and 11/4/12 in Tyler. Please email me for more details (teresa.beal@hotmail.com)

Updated 11/15/12:

Please help these precious micro-preemie twins, Drake & Kennedy Gilstrap, born on June 23, 2012 in Tyler, TX. They unexpectedly entered this world by emergency c-section after Annie’s water randomly broke that night and are still in the hospital today. The story of Drake and Kennedy (D&K) has brought many people together wondering how they could help; you can help make a difference too. Any funds received will go directly towards the twins and their dedicated parents. Medical bills, medications, therapy, treatment, and travel costs are stacking up; while additional help is needed to assist their family to supplement income so Annie is able to stay at home with Drake & Kennedy as they fight their many battles to come.  Anything will help, as their daddy works in Houston and has to travel to Dallas and Tyler to be with his family at the hospital every weekend.  

It all happened so fast late one Friday night…baby Drake (boy) and his sister Kennedy entered this world 15 weeks early and were immediately flown in separate helicopters to Dallas Presbyterian Hospital. Every day has been a battle to survive. Drake was born weighing 1 lb 11 oz, at 13.5" long while Kennedy was delivered one minute later at 1 lb 9 oz and 13".

Well over 100 days later, these miracle babies are still fighting their daily battles, and have yet to see their home. They have been through severe staph infections, multiple blood transfusions and numerous tests and their mommy has not left their side.  Brian spent as much time as he could, but unfortunately had to go back to work 300 miles away as they could no longer do without pay from his leave of absence.

Drake has fought harder than any little child should ever have to experience.  He endured a very serious and life-threatening infection that shut his tiny kidneys down for seven days. He was given hours to live; but miracles, prayers, and his inner strength pulled him through. The doctors were astonished and said even grown adults don’t usually survive this type of rare staph infection!

Just recently a new MRI was performed on baby Drake; the results determined he had significant brain damage as a result of a stroke while he was so sick and fighting to survive. The neurologist has given Drake 1-3 years, at most, to survive under the scientific circumstances. Brian and Annie refuse to accept this news and vow to provide Drake and Kennedy with the best care and therapy they will be able to afford. While loving and caring for them unconditionally as they cherish each minute with their miracle twins.

Each day seems to be a stressful and exhausting battle for my brother & sister in law, as they have to live each day as it comes, not knowing what to expect, when they may be released, what will they do if Kennedy is released before Drake, where will they live, etc. My precious niece & nephew and their ever loving parents never had the opportunity for the normal 9-month planning period most expecting parents get: to have baby showers, get the nursery set up, bottles, carseats, stroller and diapers all ready for the “normal” delivery. The hospital bills for two critical babies, numerous echocardiograms, sonograms, helicopters, more blood transfusions ever imagined, multiple specialists and upcoming hernia surgeries are way more than any young parents could afford to go through emotionally, physically and financially to keep their only babies alive. After trying to conceive for 10 years of being married, this was their biggest blessing…to be parents to these two precious angels! I can’t take away their pain, fear, grief, nor relieve their exhaustion and stress over the circumstances they continue to battle for my niece and nephew, however, with your help and the help of others spreading their unique story I can only pray and hope to relieve some of their stressful financial burden they face today and the days to come by requesting donations, words of encouragement to them, and many prayers for their family. Annie needs to be home with her babies.

Each twin has already incurred medical bills that quickly exceeded over $1 million dollars and increase daily. If you have kept up with their parent's daily blog, you already know that they have not had a family portrait to share until just recently. The wires and tubes attached to D&K inhibit these tiny siblings from being able to interact with each other. The twins are required to stay in the hospital for an unknown amount of time, which is measured in weeks rather than days (as of my update today 10/15/2012).

It is so heart breaking to see how much these tiny babies have gone through since their premature birth on 6/23/12 but they are fighters and have overcome the most unusual circumstances.  Please help Brian and Annie, for the sake of Drake & Kennedy, to relieve some of the many burdens they are dealing with during this emotionally tragic time. This should be a happy time for new parents who have anxiously waited ten years to become parents, and these are not just any parents…these are the greatest, most dedicated and loving parents with a wonderful marriage most people would admire to have. Thank you so much, from our entire family!

Please visit D&K’s daily blog, written by both parents at various times since their birth, which will inspire you to live each day to its fullest, have more patience for your children, and to cherish each day with your children, as they are gifts from God and each one of them have their own purpose in life: (updated:10/15/12)

  www.drakeandkennedy.blogspot.com

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