David Gill can be described in many words: Christian, loving, kind, witty, giving, sacrificial, husband, daddy, granddaddy and friend. However, the one word that describes him best is “strong.” David has been strong for so many people throughout his life and now he needs others to help get his strength back.
On February 24, 2015, what started as pneumonia that wouldn’t heal turned out to be a terminal lung disease called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. When the doctors told him he would have between two and five years to live, he walked out the door and looked at Ginger, his high school sweetheart and wife of forty-three years and said, “We’re walking out of here with no less days than God had planned for me from the beginning.” While the rest of his family cried, he was their strength once again.
This disease caused David and Ginger to take early retirements and the tests and trips to the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) hospital began. But, so did the prayers of family and friends (both new and lifelong). These prayers became the strength of David and Ginger when they were weak. Life gradually became drastically different. The things that had been so simple and effortless, became things of the past. Through it all, David never complained. Was he frustrated, discouraged, and disheartened? Yes. It broke his heart to see his wife have to cut the grass and do other things around the house that he had always done. Even through his frustrations and discouragement, when people ask him, “How are you?” to this day, his answer is, “I’m well, how are you?”
Joys and Sorrows
The next few years brought joy and trials. David and Ginger’s son, Bryan and his wife, Sarah, had two children. Bryan’s firstborn was David’s namesake, Charles, and the second child was a beautiful baby girl, Perri. These two grandbabies brought (and still bring) so much life to David. You wouldn’t know he had a disease when you see him playing with them with so much energy and happiness. Then, reality crushes you when he excuses himself to the next room because of a coughing spell.
David’s daughter, Brandy and her husband Neil, had two miscarriages during this time. It broke his heart to see his baby girl hurt the way she did through those times. However, by the grace of God, in April of 2018, Brandy gave birth to a beautiful baby girl of her own, Piper Claire. There was so much joy that David’s heart melted when he saw her for the first time. It was the first time his family had seen him cry even through all of the dark times. It was joy, not sorrow that brought him to tears.
The Current Reality
Gradually, David’s reliance on oxygen has increased from occasionally needing it when walking to having a 24/7 connection to “that damn hose.” After years of tests, the transplant team at UAB decided to place him on the transplant list. However, since they only perform a small number of transplants per year, they advised the Gills to seek out other hospitals to get on a second list. Enter, Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Shands is optimistic about David getting on their list after he and Ginger are able to show proof that they will be able to financially survive post-transplant.
UAB and Shands explained that it was a necessity to consider a fundraiser in order to survive the costs involved with post-transplant living. They explained that the financial need could prevent David from being on the transplant list. They strongly urged them to proceed with fundraising so they could list him immediately.
The Costs of Living Post-Transplant
Some of the costs the Gills have to expect are lodging (very close to the hospital) for at least 3 months after being released from the hospital, meals, travel, medical bills and medicine for life that are not covered by insurance. After much pride-swallowing, they have now come to the realization that they have no choice but to proceed in this direction and ask for help from both loved ones and friends.
The Gills have decided to set up this GoFundMe account to help David be listed, receive new lungs and return to a somewhat normal life. Any amount of money is humbly appreciated. But, even if you cannot give monetarily, please commit to praying for David and Ginger as they are on this journey.
Thank You in Advance
We cannot, in any way, know how to thank you in advance. There’s no value to place on what this will mean for David and his family. We pray that God will bless you richly, no matter how you are able to be a part of this journey.