First Annual Mike Gustin Memorial Golf Tournament
Monday, August 8th, 2016 Marshfield Country Club
Mike was unable to stay home for more than a week and sometimes days. Calling for an ambulance was becoming the “norm” for the Gustin family. Heart Failure was now beginning to diminish Mike’s quality of life and he needed to be hospitalized 24/7. Mike could no longer do the things he loved to do most. Mike needed to stay in the hospital for over two months on the most critically intensive floor in the hospital, the Cardiomyopathy Center, at Tufts Medical Center. It wasn’t until then that Mike and his family were told that he needed a new heart and that there was going to be a lot of steps and challenges before he could be a recipient. During those difficult months, Mike’s family would be driving into the hospital daily and praying and hoping for a miracle. Repeatedly, they hoped the doctors could fix the problem as they always did and their beloved Mike would be able to come home.
It was in February, 2015, that Mike and his family were told the devastating news. Mike would not be a candidate for the LVAD and receiving a new heart was no longer a possibility for him. As devastated as Mike and his family were, they all decided to make Mike’s last wish a reality by bringing him home to be cared for by his family, Dr. Amanda Vest from Tufts Medical, and South Shore Visiting Nurses nurse, Jay Bates. Remarkably, against all odds, Mike was able to stay home without hospital visitations for almost 5 1/2 months before he passed.
During those difficult months, back-and-forth from the hospital, Mike’s daughter was blessed to meet Patrick Sullivan. Patrick, a heart transplant survivor and one of the founders of HeartBrother’s Foundation, met Laurie outside waiting for her vehicle at the parking garage outside of Tufts Medical Center. Patrick immediately reached out , seeing the distressed look on her face; and from that day forward, was there to offer support for the family. Although Mike did not get to meet Pat, he knew of him and his eagerness to help in anyway he could; whether it was emotional, physical, or financial.
When Mike passed away, the family immediately knew where they needed to focus their energy and efforts. They felt they could understand what these patients face on a day- to- day basis and what their families are up against. When people think of Mike, they think of how generous and kind he was to everyone he would meet. One of Mike’s accomplishments, many years ago, was that he began a celebrity golf tournament to raise money for Cerebral Palsy. This tournament still exists today, after 30 years, raising over $1.6 million dollars. Mike’s love for golf, and Mike’s acts of generosity and kindness over the years, has led the Gustin Family and HeartBrother’s Foundation to start their 1st Annual Golf Tournament in memory of Mike.
The HeartBrothers Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to help patients and their loved ones navigate the complicated world of heart failure (HF), ventricular assist devices (VAD’s) and heart transplantation. Their sole mission is to bring resources together to help patients and their loved ones overcome the overwhelming physical, mental and financial stresses of heart failure and all its challenges. This holds very dear to the Gustin families hearts, who unfortunately faced these many challenges over the past few years with their beloved Mike. The entire Gustin Family and the Founders of the HeartBrothers organization, Pat Sullivan and Robert Romer, have paired up to begin the 1st Annual Golf Event in honor of Mike and to help raise money to help these local patients and families in need.
After our players are finished with a game of golf, we will all be gathering at the newly renovated clubhouse for dinner and there will be several Silent and Live Auction items along with many raffles. Any contributions you could make as an auction item, raffle item, golfer, Sponsorship of hole, sponsorship of Green/Tee, etc. would help us generate a greater fundraising goal and would be greatly appreciated by all!
We look forward to your participation. If you should have any questions in regard to the event or would like additional information, please feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com. Thank you in advance for your time and hope to hear from you soon.
Sincerely, Katie Gustin Gerstel Event Coordinator