Travis and Cassandra Bailey gave birth to their son Gavin in 2011. Gavin had not only a sizable congenital melanocytic nevus (CMN), but also profoundly symptomatic neurocutaneous melanocytosis (NCM). Shortly after his first birthday, Gavin succumbed to his fight for life. Gavin’s family worked hard to bring about the Gavin Bailey Tissue Repository for Neural Crest Disorders. Their dedication was, and remains, unceasing.
The people of Nevus Outreach and Gavin’s family each pulled together $20,000. That initial support then grew to $130,000 to get the tissue bank up and running, thanks to the support of the Morgan Family Foundation.
When many others might have surrendered themselves to the hopelessness of despair, Travis Bailey rallied his family, friends and small community of Craigsville, West Virginia (population 2,213), to offer hot dogs for sale hot off the grill to the people in his area. With the help and support of his local volunteer fire department, local businesses and individuals, Travis and his crew raised that first $20,000 literally one hot dog at a time.
After Gavin’s death, Travis and Cassandra made the greatest donation of all, Gavin’s body itself, to help us improve our understanding of the rare and confounding conditions that face people affected by CMN and NCM. Today, Travis leads a Nevus Outreach team of dedicated parents who serve other families finding themselves in the same position.
Travis has since joined the Nevus Outreach Board of Directors. Some of the most endearing moments at Board meetings happen now, when the Board is considering all the money it will have to find in order to continue all the good work their organization does, when Travis puts a hand to his forehead, shakes his head slowly, and says quietly to anyone who will listen, “Man, that’s a lot of hot dogs…”
It is a lot of hot dogs. Thank you Travis, Cassandra and the people of Craigsville, West Virginia.
(L to R) Anne Houseal, Jack Laverty,
Mark Forgione, Robin Forgione with Ivy,
Mike Loehr, Mark Beckwith, Merilee Vance, Robert Brown and Jon Gordon