Fortunately, part of working in the fundraising business means that we meet and work with people who are striving to reach their goals. We are lucky in that part of job is working to support some pretty inspiring causes. The stories behind the fundraisers and the subsequent fundraising success stories motivate us to work harder each season to provide fresh and fun designs that will increase profits for every fundraiser we work with. For Pete’s Sake is one of those stories that makes us pause, reflect and also inspires the team behind the fundraiser to get the story out to help raise money for the cause.
Jill and Jerry Black are an accomplished young couple from Southern California. Jerry, a pediatrician, and his wife are active in their local church and community. In August 2010, the Blacks welcomed two additions to the family: Sara and Peter. The newborns were born via emergent C-section weighing 1 pound 2 oz (Sara) and 1 pound (Peter), classifying them as micro preemies and requiring them to spend the first four months of their lives in the NICU in Santa Barbara. Over the next few months, the twins were in and out of multiple surgeries and constantly monitored by an expert medical team.
The babies proved strong and willful and Jerry noted their steady progress in the family’s online journal, documenting each pound gained and celebrating every last minute he and his wife could hold the little ones. Family and friends rallied around the Black family, providing emotional support and helping in every way that they could. Despite all of the love surrounding the family, the medical bills continued to pile up.
Fast forward to Fall 2011 and the family was going strong; the kids had just celebrated their first birthday and were well on their way developmentally to match the peers they would meet in their future preschool class. Jill had adjusted to being a full-time, at-home mommy to twins and Jerry was balancing a busy work schedule with his family time and helping out at every chance he got. They celebrated their “little miracles” with each pound gained and optimistic doctors’ visits. However, in October 2011 things took a turn for the worse. Doctors found a mass in Petie’s liver indicating that he had hepatoblastoma, a form of cancer that is considered rare overall, and even more unusual for ex-premie babies. Reflecting upon the diagnosis in his online journal, Jerry realized how strong his two little ones were as they continued to take on seemingly impossible odds (the chances of a child diagnosed with hepatoblastoma is 1 in a million). Little Petie has since had to undergo extensive chemotherapy and invasive surgery to remove the tumor. Today, Peter, his sister Sara and his parents are all looking forward to summer and continuing to fight the odds with unwavering optimism.
Volunteers from their local church and community have come together in support of the Black family. In response to the astronomical medical bills, the Blacks’ family, friends and community decided to put together a fundraiser to help raise funds and help out in any way that they could. You can help this family by purchasing any of our reusable bags and eco-friendly products. Make sure to put in the For Pete’s Sake fundraiser ID at your checkout. The For Pete’s Sake ID# is 102922 and 40% of every purchase made online will go directly to helping out Peter and Sara. You can read more about Peter and the Black family on the fundraiser’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/For-Petes-Sake-Peter-James-Black/202576456525536 and can also make donations and read more about their story on their online CaringBridge journal: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/blackfamily.