Avery's Angels     
Gastroschisis Foundation
®
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Meet The Team
Kim Richmond, 
Gastroschisis Awareness Day Coordinator
California Hub Leader

In December  2009, at 15 weeks pregnant,
 I found out the sex of my baby and that
she had  gastroschisis. My daughter was
born May 14, 2010 and spent 7 weeks in the
hospital. My daughter did not have any
bowel removed but struggled with severe
vomiting and still battles with it today.
She is very small for her age and severely
 under weight. Gastroschisis has changed
 my life in many ways, and although it has been a heartbreaking struggle I have really learned a lot about myself, about others, and about the true strength these babies have. I found Avery's Angels when I was pregnant and am honored to be a part of this organization. I am a parent volunteer, as well as the Gastroschisis Awareness Day Coordinator. I can't wait to see this organization really take flight and will do whatever I can to help it along it's journey.

I have an 11 year old daughter who was born with Gastroschisis, she has complications but also has the most amazing spirit. I was so happy to find Avery's Angels, after

Autumn Hernandez- Chief Administrative Assistant, Program Developer and HIPAA Compliance Officer

Autumn directs program development and manages HIPAA trainings and compliance. She also helps to manage the interworkings of AAGF. Autumn also oversees the scholarship program.

Lea Krutel, a Northern California based
resident, gave birth to her first child,
Amara Belle, who was born with
 gastroschisis on September 15, 2009
at the age of 24. It was only after Amara
 passed away from a bacterial infection
in her intestines, Necrotising Entercolitis
(NEC), that she found Avery's Angels
Gastroschisis Foundation (AAGF)
and founder, Meghan Hall. It was clear
to Lea and Meghan that they had shared
similar paths through this difficult journey and could be of guidance and
support to each other and a greater community. With a background in
marketing and advertising, along with graphic design, Lea became one
of AAGF's Public Relations representatives and has also offered her
support as a Veteran Angel to other families experiencing the same.
Lea Krutel, Graphic Designer
Meghan Hall, CEO & Founder
Meghan and Jared Rauen had Avery John Rauen on April 14th 2009. Avery had a very rosy prognosis being born strong and big at 6lbs 7oz with a small loop of bowel out. He under went an immediate closure surgery after birth, a surgery 6 weeks later to remove a dead spot and then an exploratory surgery on July 14th 2009 to figure out why the bowel still was not passing from point A to B. After this surgery there were unforeseen complications, and after 16 days on life-support Jared and Meghan surrounded by the supportive UNC NICU staff and family sent Avery to 

heaven in the butterfly garden at UNC Hospitals.Fueled by the loneliness following the prognosis at 12 weeks gestation and in the NICU world, Meghan began blogging in September 2009, formulating the beginnings of an NPO to support families affected by gastroschisis and to promote research and awareness. Her motivations were supported by the pediatric surgeons that had operated on her son and the medical staff at UNC Hospitals. In a short year, a massive support base and integral founding members found Meghan through the magic of the Internet and Avery's Angels Gastroschisis Foundation was off to paint the world green.

Virginia born NC resident Meghan Hall graduated from UNC Chapel Hill 2007 and is currently enrolled as an MS/PhD student in Clinical Psychology at Capella University. She works full time as a Special Needs teacher assistant in NC; her future goals are to travel world wide and provide counseling support to the AAGF families touched by gastroschisis, to see that the causes to this disease are known and to end this disease. "Avery was the greatest joy and hope in my life. His death is just a tiny spot in a wonderful and beautiful life. I advocate for his life as any other mother would, and to further that joy and love that he was and is in my life. I believe that when it rains you have a choice, you can sit in a puddle or put on your shoes and dance."
In 2003, at 18 weeks pregnant, Megan
 found out the child she was carrying
had Gastroschisis. She prepared
herself for the birth of her child by
researching everything she could find
on Gastroschisis. Sadly there was not
 much information to be found. She
and her son’s Father chose a boy’s name, Joshua, meaning "God saves". They thought “Joshua” was appropriate for him and their hopes.

When Joshua was finally born, there were complications. While in utero Josh's intestine twisted, lost circulation, died, fell off, and his abdominal wall closed. At first sight of this the nurses were calling it a miracle, but when Josh had his first surgery at two days old, it was discovered he had short-bowel syndrome.

While Josh grew, surpassing Dr's expectations for him, Megan never stopped searching for information and an answer to the question, “Why?” During this search, in 2009, she found Avery's Angels. She wasn't sure how she could help, but offered to donate proceeds from sales of hand-made fairy wings and other crafts she makes. She has since moved on to designing promotional material for AAGF and managing her designs in a t-shirt shop through Cafepress.com. All of the proceeds from her shop go directly to AAGF.

When Megan found AAGF back in 2009, it was the first time that she didn’t feel alone in the world of Gastroschisis. She feels lucky every day to be a part of Avery’s Angels Gastroschisis Foundation.
Megan Turcotte, Sr. Graphic Designer
Jennifer MacKay- Executive Director of
Global Hub Creation and Development
Jennifer oversees the establishment and creation of Avery’s Angels ® Gastroschisis Hubs globally. She trains hub leaders as well as volunteers on how to create, execute and manages hubs as well as effectively communicate with local hub leaders and volunteers.

Jen gave birth to her daughter Serena, in November 2011. She found Avery's Angels® Gastroschisis Foundation soon after Serena was diagnosed with gastroschisis and have been involved  

 


Tiffany Goldader- Executive Parent Support
Director





 

Tiffany oversees the parent support volunteer coordination. She places identified families seeking support and help with a corresponding volunteer either by area or experience relating. She is also Hub leader for Oregon.
Tiffany's daughter, Nora, was born with gastroschisis September 2011. She found Avery's Angels® Gastroschisis Foundation during her pregnancy and received support from great volunteers. She decided that it was i
the Foundation ever since. Avery's Angels® gave her the emotional support she needed to get through her pregnancy, birth, and life in the NICU.
it was important for me to be able to help other families find a support system as well, so once Nora was through the worst of her journey I joined Avery's Angels® Gastroschisis Foundation.


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