Category Archives: Fundraising

My Mother’s Day Wish

In July of 2012, I was on top of the world! After fighting infertility for years, my husband, Bryan and I were finally pregnant! We were expecting 2 amazing baby boys who were due late November. My pregnancy had been nothing short of amazing and we were off to meet my new nephew and visit my hometown for a baby shower. That’s when our lives were changed forever.

Shortly after arriving in Illinois, I began experiencing some concerning symptoms and headed to the hospital to make sure everything was ok. Unfortunately, we learned that I was 90% effaced and a centimeter dilated. At only 21 weeks pregnant, this was very, very bad news. I was strapped to a gurney and loaded onto a helicopter en route to the nearest hospital with a level 4 NICU.

Once I arrived, the doctors were successful in stabilizing me and preventing such early delivery. As 24 weeks is considered the limit of viability, I knew this was critical and I settled in for what I prayed would be a long, uneventful stay. Bryan returned to our home in California, 2200 miles away, to work and we began to count each day as a prize.

After nearly 2 weeks on strict bed rest in the hospital, labor began. The doctors did all they could to prevent it, but they just couldn’t hold it off any longer. I called Bryan at 3 o’clock in the morning and told him to get on the soonest possible flight back to Illinois.

Since our boys were fraternal twins, my doctor decided to try to deliver only one baby and keep the other inside as long as possible. At only 23 weeks and 4 days gestation, my sweet little Logan was born.

The Neonatologist told us all about the risks and challenges that face a child born so early. We knew we just had to give our tiny baby a chance. After Logan was born, he gave my finger a tight squeeze to show me his strength and was whisked off to the NICU. That evening, Bryan arrived and spent the next 48 hours making constant runs between the NICU and Labor and Delivery units to bring updates.

Two very valuable days later, Jacob decided it was time to join us and was born via emergency Cesarean. He was the size of an ear of corn and weighed only 1lb 12 ounces.
Once both boys made it through their first 24 hours, we prayed we were in the clear. We settled into our routine and spent every minute with them that we could. When I was discharged from the hospital, we stayed with my parents and made the hour commute each and every day. Each day was a strange mix of hope, fear, desperation and courage. We learned the routines of the hospital, the rotations of the doctors and nurses, and feeling of our hearts stopping any time the phone rang at 2am.

On the morning of August 11, we got a call that Logan was struggling. The doctors and nurses did all they could to stabilize him, but he wasn’t breathing properly. The hour drive to the hospital felt like an eternity as Bryan used all his strength to fight the urge to drive at light speed. We made it just in time to hold our sweet baby for the first and last time.

The next day, Jacob’s fight began. With his new guardian angel at his side, Jacob endured his first emergency surgery. He would have 8 more by the time he was 6 months old. He showed us that he has strength and determination to handle anything. We also learned about our own strength, our ability to absorb a crash course in neonatology, and immense value of family and faith.

We were all stretched beyond our limits and taught lessons we never could’ve imagined in those first 4 months. After 144 days in 3 different NICU’s, we got to bring our amazing little boy home!

We learned early on that Jacob suffered a bleed in his brain. However, there is no way to know what the long term prognosis will be. We were told that Jacob would never see, hear, walk or talk. That was the day we committed to giving Jacob the best life possible and to absolutely prove them wrong!

When Jacob was 10 months old we made our first trip to Philadelphia to visit The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. The specialists there have been helping children recover from brain injury for 60 years. We have returned every 6 months to be evaluated and have a home program developed just for him. We commit every day to giving Jacob his very best chance. Because of this program, while he was once blind, he can now see! He was once deaf and he can now hear!! Jacob is much healthier, can read independently, and has made incredible gains. We have learned invaluable lessons about nutrition, intelligence and respiration. Most importantly, we have learned to always believe in and respect our incredible son.

We have been given many diagnoses for Jacob. He suffered from cortical blindness, profound hearing loss, developmental delay and Cerebral Palsy. He was also given the gift of incredible joy and insurmountable determination. He has parents, friends, family and specialists that are behind him 100%!

Now, Jacob is four years old and he is absolutely full of sunshine and joy. He loves bathtub mohawks, tractors and turtles, because he thinks their shells are cool. Jacob has a heart of gold, is incredibly intelligent and is a wonderful big brother. Just check out the letter that he wrote to Santa using his facilitated communication board. (Not his penmanship, but his words)

Jacob is full of smiles and his laugh is the greatest sound in the world. The most amazing thing about Jacob is that he is so happy and determined, despite the obstacles that he faces from being born extremely prematurely and the challenges of cerebral palsy he continues to overcome each day.

Now, Jacob’s greatest obstacle is his mobility. He wants so badly to crawl and walk and run. He has the strength, but lacks the coordination. We have researched many therapies that have proven to help children just like Jacob. The challenge we now face is accessing these therapies for him as they are not covered by insurance and are paid completely out of pocket.

There is no gold standard of care for children with cerebral palsy. But, that does not mean that there are not techniques that can help these children immensely. Through our research we have found the following therapies that we believe can help Jacob overcome his physical obstacles.


Our Plan (please see details on each at the end of this post)

Step 1: Stem Cells – to repair damage in the brain and create a good foundation

Step 2: HBOT – to improve efficacy of Stem Cells, reduce inflammation and strengthen the foundation

Step 3: MNRI and CME – to provide input and information to the new cells and build the structure upon that foundation!

The cost of this plan is $88,200

We believe in our little boy and we will stop at nothing to help him reach his goal of running! We have completed extensive research into these therapies and have consulted with many medical professionals to determine that this combination will offer great hope and progress to our incredible Jacob.

After cutting spending, depleting our savings and putting every penny towards Jacob’s therapies, we have exhausted our financial resources. We cannot do this alone. If you are able, please know that any support you can offer will help us move mountains! We know that this “wish list” for Jacob will require substantial fundraising, but we have faith that, with your help, WE CAN DO IT!!

There are 2 great options for donations.
The first is to our new friends at The Bridge to Healing 501(c)3. A donation here is fully tax deductible and 75% of your donation will go into Jacob’s account and will be used for his therapies. The rest will go into the general fund to help the organization match donations for other children like they did for the first $1000 we contributed for Jacob.

Click Here To Donate via PayPal

(Please be sure to designate Jacob Dein as the donation recipient on this page)

The second option is to make a direct donation through our GoFundMe page or send a check. I will send all donations directly to The Bridge to Healing AND have the donation matched by my company! This means a $100 donation turns into $150 for Jacob’s account!

We are so grateful for all the love and support we have received along this journey. I look forward to sharing updates on the incredible progress our little fighter will make! We’ve been told from the beginning that this is a a marathon, not a sprint. We believe in him and we believe in you.

If you know anyone who may be able to help or who may benefit from our story, please pass this along. Any questions? Feel free to email me at or visit  Facebook page I Am On Team Jacob

Thank you all and Go Team Jacob!!

Stem Cell Treatment – Mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cord blood are considered to be universal donor cells because they are not immediately recognized as foreign. The cells home to damaged tissue and are known to secrete molecules called trophic factors. Trophic factors from mesenchymal stem cells are known to stimulate repair of damaged nervous tissue in both the brain and the spinal cord. Some of these are neurotrophic factors that promote neuronal growth, induce new blood vessel growth, neurogenesis and astroglial activation, encourage synaptic connection and axonal remyelination, decrease programed cell death, and regulate microglial activation. Evidence shows that this treatment can make significant impact by targeting specific areas of injury and can impact vision, spasticity and mobility. This treatment is an infusion of stem cells from umbilical cord blood donated from a healthy pregnancy. These are NOT embryonic stem cells and this treatment is very low risk. This is the most promising development in the treatment for Cerebral Palsy and is our best shot to heal the damage to Jacob’s brain.

Cost – $18,000 per treatment plus travel, 2 treatments per year

HBOT – Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment has shown reproducible benefits for more than 2 decades in hundreds of children with CP around the world. It works by regenerating or reviving cells in the ischemic penumbra in the brain. This increased vascular activity allows the reactivation of “idling ” neurons that are a result of injuries such as brain bleeds. This therapy will help all of Jacob’s other therapies be more effective.

One Time Cost of $19,000 or monthly rental of $2850

MNRI – Masgutova Neurosensory Reflex Integration. This therapy identifies the reflexes that are not working properly and, through specific exercises, corrects the abnormality. Through this, Jacob will have improved perception of his body and where it is in space, and will gain use of his body in the proper manner.

Cost – $9850 biannually for 8 day intensive with family training (plus travel and lodging) and $3750 biannually for 5 day in-home intensive treatment between

CME – Cuevas Medek Exercises®, is a psychomotor therapy approach for infants suffering abnormal developmental motor evolution caused by a known or unknown non-degenerative syndrome affecting the Central Nervous System. This therapy can be applied to children from the age of 3 months until they achieve and control independent walking. Because the CME® certified therapy practitioner needs to expose the infant to the influence of gravity, by providing progressive distal support, the use of this therapy may be limited by the child’s size and weight. It is critical that we begin this therapy as soon as possible. The bigger Jacob gets, the more challenging this therapy becomes.

Cost – $4500-$6750 biannually for 3 week intensive treatment, 2-3 hours per day.

Its Fundraiser Time

It is hard to believe that in just over a month it will be time to return to The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential for Jacob’s bi-annual re-evaluation and program update.  These visits are absolutely critical for Jacob’s progress and are amazingly educational and energizing for Bryan and me.  The benefits and progress are absolutely priceless, however, the trip is not.

This is also priceless…

We have been so blessed to have such incredible support from our family and friends, old and new.  Because of you, our new friends at the Clements-Lockeford and Stockton Host Lions Clubs and JetBlue, we only have $5000 to go for the upcoming revisit!  If each of our friends to the I Am On Team Jacob facebook page donated just $35, we would reach our goal!  If you would like to help us, we have come up with 2 options.

Simple Donation

The folks at GoFundMe have made it so simple!  If you are interested, just click here and you can make a donation in any amount you like!  Every bit helps and goes straight to Jacob’s tuition at IAHP!

Back by popular demand…Norwex!

Our last fundraiser was such a success and we are so glad to have introduced so many to these excellent products that have made such a difference in our home.  All proceeds from orders placed through this link will support Jacob’s upcoming IAHP revisit!

This link will be active for 2 weeks – (closing 2/22 @ 8pm)

Click here to place an order

Other helpful links to learn about Norwex

Why we love Norwex

My favorite products

Norwex Catalog – 2015_Product_Catalog_US_Web

As always, thank you all for your incredible love and support!



Giving Tuesday – YOU can make a difference!

Today marks the newest “made up” day in the social media, trending world.  Today is #GivingTuesday.  What a wonderful use of media to encourage the world to give back!!

There is no doubt that your Facebook Newsfeed is filled with ads and stories to encourage you to choose their charity for this day of awareness.  I’d like to suggest The Institutes for the Achievement Potential as a very worthy choice for your charitable giving.  The work they do helps families around the world help their children lead the best lives possible.  A life full of hope and possibilities. They provide answers and solutions.  If your heart has been moved by Jacob’s story and you are looking for a tax-deductible option for giving, please click here to donate to the IAHP Founders Fund.  If you would like to help Jacob directly, please click here.

We are so immensely grateful for our amazing supporters.  Thank you for your love an encouragement.  Please remember that every donation, no matter the size makes a difference and helps us get closer to our goal.  It helps us focus all our energy on helping our amazing fighter get well!!  Thank you!!

Jen’s Top Ten

I am so excited about all the interest in the Norwex products since my last post.  I have had a blast telling everyone about them and I keep getting the same question…what are your favorite products? So, since we have a few days left until the fundraiser (**update, since the fundraiser is now closed, I have updated this link to a general site where you can place an order) closes (on Monday at 8PST), I thought it might help to post my Top 10 favorite products!  AND, since I know this is all about Jacob, I will also post the LATEST, GREATEST giggle video featuring Jacob’s new swing!!

Here we go!microfiber

Number 1 – EnviroCloth and Window Cloth

This shouldn’t be a surprise!  I have yet to find a mess this cloth couldn’t handle.  In the kitchen I use it on my counters, cabinets and appliances.  In the bathroom I use it on the vanity, shower, bathtub and mirrors.  In Jacob’s room I use it to wipe down his toys, crawling surfaces and basically anything he touches.  I can have confidence that the EnviroCloth has picked up and locked away any dirt or germs and no dangerous chemical residue has been left behind.  Bryan even uses it to clean his truck.

Number 2 – Floor System

Back in the day, I would spend hours cleaning my floors.  I would vacuum, then steam and then buff to get rid of the cloudiness that seemed impossible to get rid of.  Then I switched to Bona, which saved some time, but  mopping while holding the bottle was always a disaster (I broke many nozzles) and I didn’t like the thought of Jacob’s hands and mouth touching those chemicals, no matter how cute the baby on the bottle is.  The floor system does an excellent job picking up all of the little debris and all I have to do is get the mop pad wet with water and off I go! floor system

Number 3 – Make Up Remover Cloths

I tried these cloths by recommendation of my sister-in-law.  She had been using Proactive face wash and went to a demonstration where she was challenged to wash half of her face with the Proactive and the other half with just the Make Up Remover Cloth and water.  Afterward, she checked her skin with astringent and was shocked at how much cleaner the Make Up Remover cloth got her skin.  She discontinued using the Proactive and her skin has never been better.  I shared this with another friend and she said it helped clear up a nasty breakout and her skin has been clear ever since.  They make makeup removal at night very quick and easy.body cloth

Number 4 – Fruit and Veggie Scrub

I never realized how much waxy yuck is on an apple until I removed it!  Even when we buy organic apples, they have a film on the skin.  I use the Fruit and Veggie Scrub to clean our fruit and vegetables with out peeling off the nutritious outer layer while still getting it nice and clean.  There is a scrubby side for though vegetables like potatoes and carrots and a soft side for delicate produce like zucchini and tomatoes.

Number 5 – Hand Towels

As I wrote in the last post, when Jacob first came home from the hospital, I pulled all hand towels out of our house and bought stock in paper towels.  I probably spent over $50 a month on paper towels and I don’t even want to think of the impact we made on our landfill.  The problem with regular towels is that they spread germs.  The Norwex hand towels grab the dirt, germs and water from your hands and lock it in the towel.  Then the silver goes to work self purifying and the towels are safe for the next user.  I have a Norwex hand towel at every sink!

Number 6 – Kitchen Towels

These are fantastic!  Super absorbent and excellent for drying dishes.  We also keep one hanging in our shower to dry the glass and it even works great when giving a dribbley baby a drink of water without a bib.

Number 7 – Mattress Cleaner

This amazing spray is an enzyme-based cleaner that you spray on spraysyour mattresses and pillows to deep clean the “organic matter” left behind by dust mites.  Yes, its gross…it cleans away bug poop in your pillows and mattresses.  This “organic matter” is what causes allergies.  A friend of mine used it on her bed and pillows and her husband’s allergy symptoms cleared up almost immediately!

Number 8 – Baby Towel and Wash cloth

006This is a super absorbent, super soft towel and wash cloth that Jacob loves.  I use the washcloth to clean his skin without harsh, skin drying soaps and I can be confident that both the washcloth and towel and safe to use between washings as both have the microsilver.

Number 9 – Cleaning Paste

Not EVERY mess can be cleaned with just water.  So, for those extra stubborn messes, you can clean with confidence using the Cleaning Paste.  Just a dab will do ya!  Great to pair with the bathroom scrub mit!

Number 10 – Bath Towels

Don’t get me wrong, number 10 does not mean last.  I LOVE my bath towels.  They are giant and soft and snuggly.  But, they are also very light, super absorbent and last much longer between washes than standard towels…thanks again to that microsilver.  In fact, most of the Norwex products have microsilver…you can identify it with the label BacLock.

So there you have it…my top10 favorite products.   (ok, I have to give a shout out to the dish mat too!  I use it as a pillow for Jacob so he doesn’t sleep in a puddle of drool.  I love the one I use in my kitchen too!) Now I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the new fall products.  While I don’t have any personal experience with them, I am most excited about the floor mat, bottle scrubber and silicon lids.

Again, the fundraiser will close Monday at 8pm PST.  Here is the link for the fundraiser

Party Link

Now here’s what you’ve all been waiting for…Jacob!!!  I promise its worth the wait!!!

A small change; a BIG impact!

When Jacob came home from the hospital after 4 months in the NICU, I knew it was extremely important to make our home a safe, healthy place for him.  I had been turned into a certified germaphobe and was determined to kill any living micro-organism within a 10 mile radius of our house.  I bought stock in Lysol and anti-bacterial hand gel.  I removed every hand towel from our home and alerted Costco of our intent to clear their inventory of paper towels.  I even talked the NICU nurses into snagging a couple containers of the hospital grade super disinfectant to take home with us.  I was ready for my war with germs and bacteria.

And then I found out I had done it all wrong…

My intentions were certainly honorable.  However, my tactics utilized the wrong weapons.  I was sieging chemical warfare on germs in my home.  The problem was that we still lived it, breathing the air that I just filled with chemicals.  I was spending a fortune on paper towels to eliminate the cross contamination of hand towels and, although I didn’t realize it at the time, I was cleaning twice as often because all the cleaners I used left residue on our surfaces that attracted more dirt.

Then, my mom introduced me to Norwex.

Norwex is a company that makes cleaning cloths designed to eliminate the need for chemical cleaners in your home.  By using their micro fiber cloths, I began to clean virtually my entire home with JUST WATER.  But wait…what about the germs??  I HAD to kill the germs!

So, Norwex microfiber is not like just any microfiber cloth you can find.  It uses fibers 1/200th the size of a human hair, versus standard microfiber that is just 1/6th, and it has micro-silver woven in to battle the germs.  The cloth, just damp with water, picks up and locks in all of the grime and germs and then the micro-silver goes to work using its self-purification properties against mold, fungi and bacteria.  It creates an environment where the germs cannot reproduce and they die.  The cloths can be used multiple times and then thrown in the wash.  They even have a 2 year warranty.

When I first heard about Norwex I thought, “Well, isn’t that nice, but big deal.”  However, knowing the importance of ridding my home of chemicals, I went to the Norwex website to find where I could learn more about these products and I asked my local consultant to give me a demonstration.  When I saw this, I was blown away…

Norwex had its newest customer.  I ditched the chemicals and paper towels and was amazed at how much easier cleaning could be.  I even told a few friends and family members about my new discovery.  Just recently a received an email from my mother-in-law in Phoenix about her experience,

 I finally got around to using the green and purple cleaning cloths and only because somehow in one of Bryan and my conversations we got to talking about them.  I think he was telling me how he used them for cleaning his truck and I had, after nearly a year, not even touched mine.  Anyway, I got them to clean mirrors so I wouldn’t have that nasty white streaking.  The past two weekends I have cleaned all the mirrors, tv screens and whatever else was glass and they are fabulous.

The mirrors sparkle with no white streaks, and usually when I clean them, the next weekend they are dusty again.   I cleaned the mirrors a week ago, we are now one or two dust storms later and when I looked at the mirrors  this weekend the dust had not even accumulated.  WHOA this is awesome and instead of cleaning them again I went on to clean other glass items.  Thank you and just sorry it took me so long to get with the program.

So, I decided its time to share the word about this great discovery.  Norwex makes MANY products for your home, car and body.  I started with the Enviro Cloth and Window Cloth, but now I have most of the kitchen and bath products as well, and I am equally thrilled.  If you would like to give them a try and reduce the chemicals and cleaning time in your home, here is a great opportunity.

We are hosting a Norwex fundraiser and 35% of all sales will go to Jacob’s revisit to The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia.  You can make a big difference in your home and help us get Jacob to his specialists all at once!  Check out the links below to view the catalogs and then follow this link to place your order.

Product Catalog:  2014_Product_Catalog_US_WEB2

Fall 2014 Products

Party link:

(**update, since the fundraiser is now closed, I have updated this link to a general site where you can place an order)

Just click the Party Link above and you will be directed to the site where you can make your purchases.  All purchases made from this link will automatically count towards Jacob’s IAHP fundraiser.  This will be open and active until Monday, August 25th at 8pm EST.

If you would like more information about Norwex, use the following links:

Wall Street Journal assesses Norwex

More Product Demonstrations

30 Chemicals to avoid in your household

If you have any questions or comments, please comment on this post (link below) and I will respond.

Thank you so much for your support and we hope these products make as much of a difference in your home as they have in ours.

Its about to get crazy over here!!

**WARNING**  This post contains the BEST giggle video to date!  Watch at your own risk!

The clock is ticking and we will be heading back to Philadelphia before we know it!  This means its time to get back in to see Jacob’s specialists at Children’s Hospital Oakland and have all of his lab work done.  Its also time to get to work on the reports and videos we need to submit to IAHP.

This is an exciting time because it is when we stop and take a look at all the AMAZING progress Jacob has made.  (Don’t worry, I will share!!) It is also a stressful time because there are just not enough hours in the day to fit it all in!

But, before we get bogged down with the stress, we will reflect on the incredible love and support we have been shown by our friends and family!  So far, we are at 35% of the way there!!!  Only $4200 to go.  If you would like to help us reach our goal, please click this link .  We are so grateful for everyone who has contributed!

Time to get back to business…we are so lucky Jacob makes it all so fun!