Six-year-old Gavin Shreeve has a wonderful, well-earned surprise in store. The FishHawk Creek first grade student was recently granted a wish to spend a week at Give Kids the World in Orlando through the Children’s Dream Fund, a local organization that makes dreams come true for children suffering with life-threatening and chronic diseases.
Gavin was diagnosed at 2 years old with Grade 4 Hydronephrosis due to Grade 4 Vesicoureteral Reflux as well as a duplicated renal system. He has undergone many surgeries, tests and different treatment plans and is currently receiving Remicade infusions monthly at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, where he was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis as well as severe Crohn’s Disease.
“This is a brief snapshot of Gavin’s medical history and doesn’t scratch the surface,” said Christina. “He is a tough kiddo who endures a lot.”
Last month, Christina found out that Gavin had been nominated for, and was chosen to receive, a wish from the Children’s Dream Fund.
“We met with the Dream Coordinator who explained all the possible dreams, including travel, a swing set, a playroom, to meet a celebrity or visit Give Kids the World,” said Christina. “Gavin immediately loved the idea of Give Kids the World and even though it is located in Orlando and we have been to Disney before, it will truly be a magical week for him.”
Give Kids the World is an 84-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides cost-free vacations to children with critical illnesses and their families. The families are provided with accommodations, transportation, tickets to theme parks, meals, daily entertainment and more.
Christina, who left her job as a first grade teacher after 10 years to manage Gavin’s medical care and now runs a bow-making business out of her home, is planning a surprise reveal party to tell Gavin about his wish at Kidtopia in Lithia.
“We are beyond blessed to be Gavin’s parents,” said Christina. “He is the strongest 6-year-old I know. He is compassionate, kindhearted and braver than most. Some days are tough and I cry a lot in private, but we have a great team of doctors and I know we can find a cure for Gavin.”
The family also does a lot to give back to others who are suffering. They participate in Take Steps Tampa, which supports the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, and donate toys every year to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital through their Braver Than Most Toy Drive.
“When you have a child with a chronic medical condition, the appointments and medications never end,” said Christina. “We have met our maximum out of pocket costs five years in a row now. We are thankful for insurance, but there is a lot that it doesn’t cover.”