Category Archives: Guillain-Barre

Gino in the news

KUSA (9 News in Denver) recently did a story on my brother-in-law, Gino, who is slowly recovering from being struck earlier this year by Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

You can read the story here and see the 90 second video clip, as well as read comments and post your own.

I’m betting it’s not long before Gino walks. I’ll keep you posted.

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Barnraising: Generosity for Gino

Awhile back, I mentioned the fundraiser for my brother in law, who is healing from Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Well, it was held last night, and there were so many people we were afraid the fire marshal would shut us down. But I think he was there, too.

More than 300 people in the community came to support Gino and my sister. Enough was donated to the Officer Gino DePalma Healing Fund to pay a portion of the hospital bills and help purchase a wheelchair-accessible van. It was a whole lotta generosity for dinner tickets, raffle tickets, silent auction, and donations.

Roger and I got some cool things at the auction: sessions with a personal trainer, an appointment with a sports medicine doctor, and a set of wine glasses.

I am in awe (as is my sister) at the outpouring generosity of this community.

Tip of the hat to Marianne, Gino’s sister, who planned and pulled-off the entire event (as well as taking overnight shifts with Gino during most of his hospitalization).

Tami and Gino before Guillain-Barre

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I got permission to post a photo of Tami and Gino before Guillain-Barre. The picture on the left is of them in 2000. The picture on the right is them 12 weeks later, after a Body-for-Life challenge. They actually have managed to stay in great shape over the long haul, due to a complete change of eating and activity habits.

Tami is staying fit running after her son. Gino is staying focused on regaining what he’s lost during the illness’s run.

Tami and Gino have counseled other people wanting to bring wellness into their lives. You can find a lot of good information on their website at Start Today Fitness.

I’m so proud of my sister and her husband! Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers.

Gino’s home from rehab!

You know from this post that my brother-in-law, Gino, was stricken with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in February. What started as numbness in his hands and feet turned into full-body paralysis over the course of a few days. He was in intensive care for several weeks as machines kept his body functioning.

He’s spent the last three months in rehab, learning again to speak, eat, move. (An aside: Gino and I have watched 2+ seasons of Six Feet Under during the nights that I sat with him — we’re addicted. Not sure how we’re going to work in this f-bomb-dropping show anymore, with our kids being around.)

Well, they kicked Gino out of rehab yesterday — he’s well enough to come home! Friends contributed countless hours to making Gino and Tami’s home wheelchair accessible. We hope his muscle functions continue to progress and that the wheelchair is soon discarded in favor of leg power.

So Tami is now nurse (giving meds), therapist (working what needs work) and tech (getting Gino from bed to chair to car, etc). On top of taking care of Gino, she will continue to take care of their adorable 2-year old son.

Tami’s glad, I think, to be finished with the long drive to the hospital that she made sometimes twice a day. She’s glad, too, to have both her boys in one home (they’d turned the hospital room into a home away from home).

But the idea of being the primary caretaker is daunting. I am so proud of how my sister has remained positive and energetic throughout this ordeal, an ordeal that might have broken a lesser person. Both she and Gino are inspirational as anti-victims — never once did either ask “why did this happen to us?” They just kept the faith and moved forward.

Right back into their home.