Kelly & Gavin on Mike FM & a sale—all for Franciscan

Mon 7 Dec 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | 31 Comments | Posted by: Gavin

UrsulaIt’s time for our once-every-ten-years end-of-the-decade sale and this year we’re donating a portion of the proceeds to Franciscan Children’s Hospital where our daughter, Ursula, has lived for the past couple of months.

Ursula, who was due on June 16th, was born on February 23rd, 2009, weighing 1 lb, 9 ounces. She stayed in the neonatal ICU at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield in an incubator for the first couple of months while we lived close by at the Ronald McDonald House. In May we expected “to bring Ursula, who [was at that point] currently well over 4 lbs, home in about two weeks.” That didn’t quite work out. After a PDA ligation, laser eye surgery, a g-tube procedure (eating required so much energy she would have had a hard time growing without one), and a tracheostomy to help out her lungs, which have been, and (will continue to be for the next year) the real issue, two months later, on July 21st, we did indeed get her home.

Ursula at homeThat was a great day—but not a great night. So the next morning we called an ambulance and she went back to Baystate Medical Center. There she went back on a ventilator and after a couple of days was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. After two weeks in the pediatric ICU, she was transferred to one of the meccas of modern medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston. After two weeks there—where we were able to sleep in Ursula’s futuristic ICU room (think Grey’s Anatomy—in space!)—Ursula was transferred to Franciscan Children’s Hospital in the Brighton area of Boston, ironically next door to the house we lived in 10 years ago. We found an apartment which is a 5-minute walk away, moved in at the end of August, and we’ve been here ever since. (All things continuing as they are, Ursula will come home in spring.)

Ursula & KellyLife has been hectic, and at times quite difficult, but everyone says being a parent is like that. Ursula is an absolute joy & a delight—and also the reason that we won’t be traveling for a while! Her lung condition, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, means that for the next few years we’ll need to keep her away from people during the flu season. The trach means she can’t speak, but she is fluent in kicking and smiling. She’s nine months old now, but only about five months old “corrected,” referring to her original due date, which is how you are supposed to think of a premature baby, in terms of weight, development, etc. She’s 13 and a half pounds, and by the time she is two or three years old, the damaged areas of her lungs will be small enough in proportion to the areas of healthy lung tissue that she shouldn’t need either supplementary oxygen or her trach. We’re learning a lot about babies, respiratory care, and how awesome nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapists are. At every hospital we’ve been to, we meet cool people because of Ursula.

Tiger babyFranciscan gets a lot of support (the Boston Bruins, big supporters of the place, are going holiday shopping for the kids on Tuesday!—and the Red Sox are coming by this week) but, hey, you know how it is in the health care zone: there’s always more needed. Ursula’s care is topnotch (and we strongly recommend and are eternally grateful to Health New England and Mass Health): from the 24-hour doctor, nurse (how do they stay so nice during the 12-hour—sometimes 16!—shifts dealing with all the poor, sick, cranky babies?!), and respiratory therapists to the speech (Ursula’s favorite person!), physical, and occupational therapists, to the cleaners who keep the unit sparkling, to the cheery people at the cafeteria (mmm!) and the front desk where we traipse by 3 or 4 times a day. And this is just one floor, the third, respiratory (with 24 beds), in one building of seven. They do everything for kids here: one of the playgrounds out in the back is set up for wheelchairs, it is awesome. It’s a huge place and every day hundreds of people come here to work and what they do is help kids.

So here are two things where maybe you can help—there’s a third which involves Holly Black, Kelly, and Cassandra Clare in Boston, but more on that at some later point.

First: radio. Second: sale.

Ursula & Gavin1) Radio: This Friday, December 11th, from 7 AM – 7 PM, Boston radio station 93.7 Mike-FM is doing a fundraiser for Franciscan. The idea is fantastic—and totally open to manipulation(!):

Operators will be standing by LIVE at 866-931-MIKE on Friday, December 11th from 7AM to 7PM to take song requests and donations. While any and all donations are warmly welcomed, remember that the bigger the donation the better chance you have of hearing your song exactly when you want!! Donations can also be made here.

About the Benefit:

The Mike-FM Request for Help to benefit the Franciscan Hospital for Children is a day long, celebrity hosted radio-thon pay-for-play which helps to raise money and awareness for the Hospital. Over the course of the 12 hours, Mike-FM will play any song you want to hear… for a price.

Celebrities will be paired with parents and from 9 AM – 10 AM Kelly Tuthill (celebrity news anchor from NewsCenter 5) will be on with Kelly Link and Gavin Grant (parents of the delightful Ursula).

Please call 866-931-MIKE and request good songs!

Ursula says hello to Howard2) Sale: we’ve been trying to work out an interesting sale and we think we’ve come up with a nice and easy one:

All our books are on sale—and $1 from every book (or ebook, zine, subscription, etc.) goes to Franciscan.

And, if you order items at full price, we will donate the difference between the full price and the sale price to Franciscan!

All our preorder titles are on sale, too! (They’re marked “Remainder” until we get it fixed.)

Paperbacks are less than $10—many quite a bit less!—and hardcovers are up to 40% off. Or, of course, more.

Media mail shipping within the US/Canada is included in the price (a note on mailing dates) and can be upgraded to Priority Mail.

Go wild! Feel free to do all your holiday shopping here! And please do spread the word, thank you.


31 Responses to “Kelly & Gavin on Mike FM & a sale—all for Franciscan”

  1. Kathryn Cramer on December 7th, 2009 8:58 am

    I was just thinking of you and wondering what happened with the baby and so I Googled. That’s quite a story. Ursula’s had quite some adventures for being someone so young.

  2. Jodee Stanley on December 7th, 2009 9:31 am

    Ursula is gorgeous–I’m sending many good thoughts to all of you and will be doing some major book shopping today at the site!

  3. Gavin on December 7th, 2009 9:43 am

    Kathryn, she is an incredibly adventurous kid — although as you can see in the first pic (from yesterday), sometimes it’s all just a little uninteresting to her.

    Jodee: she is indeed, and I say this completely objectively (uh-huh) utterly gorgeous!

  4. Patrick O'Leary on December 7th, 2009 9:51 am

    Lovely baby. Lovely parents. Best of the season to you all.

  5. uberVU - social comments on December 7th, 2009 11:26 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by DeannaHoak: Kelly and Gavin on Mike FM and a sale–all for Franciscan Children’s Hospital:

  6. Amy Sisson on December 7th, 2009 11:36 am

    Gavin and Kelly, so glad to get the update! She’s beautiful — and I can’t believe how thoughtful she looks in photo with Gavin!

    I would like to pre-order the Holly Black collection, but cannot tell whether the $17.95 is the full or sale price. I would like to pay the full price — I just want to make sure I’m doing it correctly.

  7. Victoria Janssen on December 7th, 2009 11:42 am

    Tweeted to signal boost!

  8. Gavin on December 7th, 2009 11:52 am

    Amy, the pre-orders page has the full price (which includes the donation, yay!):

    and the individual book pages have the sale (“remainder”) prices (which include a $1 donation, also yay!):

    It is just a brilliant collection — and, Theo just handed in the final spot illustrations!

  9. Jeff P. on December 7th, 2009 1:14 pm

    Gavin, that pic w/ Ursula on your lap, with her fist at her chin, is priceless! What a deep-thinking baby. And she IS gorgeous. Best of luck to her, Kelly and you.

  10. Brian Baldi on December 7th, 2009 1:27 pm

    It’s good to hear how you’re doing, Gavin. Ursula is indeed gorgeous, as is Kelly AND your marvelous chops. Thinking of you all out here on the western fringes.

  11. jGallagher on December 7th, 2009 2:30 pm

    My thoughts are with the three of you. I’m so glad Ursula is on track!


  12. mina on December 7th, 2009 3:15 pm

    ursula is beautiful, and so are her parents! i will definitely be taking advantage of this awesome sale.

  13. Julia Sullivan on December 7th, 2009 3:46 pm

    You guys are great for giving back to Franciscan! So glad they’re there, and that they’re able to help your adorable daughter. I’ll be buying and giving and reminding others.

  14. Gavin on December 7th, 2009 4:00 pm

    Brian: chops are in, do it!

    Jeff, Mina: aw! But do take advantage, do!

    Julia, I’m incredibly grateful that Franciscan is here, if it wasn’t I have no idea where we’d be. People come from all over New England (and further) to be here. We’ll be passing it on and returning as much as we can for the rest of our lives.

  15. Frances Leland on December 7th, 2009 5:51 pm

    Dearest Kelly & Gavin, thank you for giving us the opportunity to help give back to your hospital. My husband & I have walked in your shoes – 28 years ago on Saturday, Dec. 12th., when our little miracle Benjamin was born.
    We will keep you, beautiful Ursula and all of your new extended family (medical & support) in our thoughts & prayers.
    God Bless,

  16. Leslie on December 7th, 2009 7:39 pm

    Awww! Thanks for posting the baby pics!

  17. Charles Tan on December 7th, 2009 8:07 pm

    Quite an adventure Gavin. Good luck in the days to come, and the fundraiser/sale!

  18. Tiffany Trent on December 7th, 2009 9:06 pm

    Kelly, Gavin (& Ursula!) –

    You all look beautiful together. I hope things are looking up for all of you and look forward to more updates. So happy you have such great care!


  19. Greer Gilman on December 7th, 2009 11:05 pm

    Utterly gorgeous. Truly. And even more enchanting in person.

    Of course I need more books–the floor isn’t full yet.



  20. Twitted by snurri on December 7th, 2009 11:09 pm

    […] This post was Twitted by snurri […]

  21. Ray Vukcevich on December 7th, 2009 11:14 pm

    Great photos! Great story! Great idea!

    Must do some shopping in the a.m. 🙂


  22. James on December 8th, 2009 12:00 am

    I’m outrageously glad to hear things are going well. If events proceed as you describe, you’ll be bringing Ursula home just before our second offspring makes his/her appearance. Fingers crossed for both of us.

    Since I already own all of your damn books, I had to go the preorder route, and was happy to pay full price. Wish it could be more.

  23. Benjamin Rosenbaum on December 8th, 2009 12:10 pm

    Listen, far be it from me to criticize your parenting, but I think Ursula needs some toys other than silver busts of H. P. Lovecraft. Those things are creepy. 🙂

    I suppose they might be good for teething.

    Glad things are going well. She is a beauty!

  24. Gavin on December 8th, 2009 3:11 pm

    Ray, James: by next year we’ll have so many books no one will be able to keep up!

    Ben, now way I’m going to let her get her gums on those surely-baby-safe, er, not, statues! Besides, isn’t criticizing other people’s parenting a major part of parenting? I’d never let Ursula go live in Switzerland, for instance. Well, unless she wanted to.

    And thanks again to everyone who has bought books — especially those who went and paid full price to include a donation. Pretty much makes me weep!

    If you don’t want books, but want to donate, here’s the direct link!

  25. Deborah Roggie on December 8th, 2009 11:15 pm

    Kelly, I’ve thought of you, Gavin, and Ursula often and wondered how you all were. I’m so glad she’s doing well–she looks wonderful!You guys are champs–all three of you.

  26. Brianna on December 9th, 2009 1:58 am

    I’ve been enjoying the glimpses of Ursula on Flickr, and grateful to hear her story – so much cheek, she has to prop ’em up for photos!

  27. Jonathan Laden on December 9th, 2009 9:46 pm

    Congratulations on your child. Will look at the sale items, and pass the word along.

  28. Mary Behm-Steinberg on December 15th, 2009 10:12 pm

    Happy Hanukkah to you both and Ursula! You’re all so inspiring… Hugh will be thrilled to have new issues of LCRW!

  29. Helen Venn on January 1st, 2010 6:55 am

    Dear Gavin and Kelly, Ursula is such a beautiful child. I know from experience how hard it is to deal with a sick child – and I imagine it’s even harder when she is so young. I hope you can welcome her home very soon.

  30. Sara Ryan » Couch on January 9th, 2010 3:15 am

    […] I put in near the end of 2009, when they were having an important sale. (Incidentally, they are still having the important sale and you should buy some books from […]

  31. Lauren V. on February 4th, 2010 11:43 am

    I hope Ursula is still doing well! ( Just wanted to stop by (if belatedly) to thank you for the sale and the opportunity to donate — and to thank Ellen Kushner for pointing me this way! Best of luck to you & yours.

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