A Fort Campbell military policeman and his wife who learned that her Hodgkin’s lymphoma had returned following the birth of quadruplets are behind Kentucky’s most successful GoFundMe campaign to date.
The Gaytan family had their story featured on Fox News’ “Happening Now” Friday. Before the show aired, the family had only raised $60,000, said GoFundMe spokesman Bartlett Jackson. Since then, it has reached more than $1.1 million.
“It’s heartwarming to see that people from across the country and around the world were inspired to help this family in their time of need,” Bartlett said.
That money represents donations from 16,646 people from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, Bartlett said. People from 24 other countries have also donated to the Gaytans.
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“Words can not even describe how thankful we are,” wrote Sgt. Charles Gaytan on GoFundMe Friday. “Not even in our wildest dreams could we have ever fathomed the amount of support we have received. God Bless every one of you. From the bottom of our hearts thank you from all the Gaytan family.”
Charles and his wife Kayla received her Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis in January 2016, just a week after they married. Kayla’s cancer went into remission in May and in June they found out she was pregnant with quadruplets. About 28 weeks into the pregnancy, Kayla found out her Hodgkin’s lymphoma had returned.
“It’s been characterized as refractory disease so a stem cell transplant followed by 16 months of chemotherapy is needed,” Charles wrote on GoFundMe. “With a heavy heart, we along with our medical team decided to deliver the babies by C Section at 30 weeks. As Kayla needs to begin treatment right away. Our quadruplets were born December 30, 2016. They are currently in the NICU and trying their best to breathe. We feel very blessed.”
Charles updated GoFundMe Tuesday morning with photos of the babies. Charles and Victoria are in cribs while Michael and Lillian are still in their incubators, he wrote. “All the babies are eating from bottles and growing. We are hoping they are able to come home sooner than expected.”
The Gaytans’ GoFundMe campaign is the seventh largest of all time since the company launched in May 2010, Bartlett said.