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Rare Diagnosis Inspires GP Reeves Fundraising Mission

Rare Diagnosis Inspires GP Reeves Fundraising Mission

GP Reeves wraps up year-long fundraiser with a celebratory lunch and check presentation on May 13

Holland-based manufacturing company partners with University of Michigan Medicine to support those affected by Central Nervous System Vasculitis after team member received extremely rare diagnosis. 

May 2022, Holland, Michigan – GP Reeves is celebrating a collaboration with University of Michigan Medicine’s Stroke Division to support victims of CNS (Central Nervous System) Vasculitis. After a team member suffered a massive stroke later diagnosed as CNS Vasculitis, the GP Reeves team rallied together to raise funds for increased research and awareness of this rare disease.

On March 5th 2021, the GP Reeves team was devastated to learn that Karla Reeves, employee and wife of company president Kevin Reeves, had suffered a harsh stroke. Originally, doctors believed that the stroke and Karla’s other symptoms were caused by a tumor or multiple sclerosis. The Reeves family prepared for the worst as Karla underwent a brain biopsy for further research. “The doctors warned us that if the stroke and Karla’s other symptoms were results of a tumor, it would be terminal because of its location. The diagnostic process caused another stroke, leading to loss of muscle control on the left side of her body and stopped her breathing function” shared Kevin.

After the procedure was completed, it was discovered that the stroke was a consequence of CNS Vasculitis. CNS Vasculitis is a rare disease with an average of only three individuals affected per million. This disorder involves the inflammation of blood vessels that carry blood throughout the body. Vasculitis in general can affect blood vessels of any type, size, or location, including those in the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system). Research and awareness of this condition are lacking, so doctors hadn’t thought to consider CNS Vasculitis at first. Though there is currently no cure for vasculitis, it is treatable with various medications.

GP Reeves has always had a family-focused culture and because of this, the team has become severely passionate about this cause. Over the past year, GP Reeves employees have worked hard to raise funds to support the University of Michigan Medicine’s Stroke Division and its research on CNS Vasculitis. From raffles, car washes, and can collections to bake sales and dunk-tank competitions – the small team has spent the last year dedicating itself to this special cause. The hope is that by encouraging further research on CNS Vasculitis, other families won’t have to go through the struggles the Reeves’ have had to endure. Additionally, the diagnoses process may be made easier for future patients.

“I am both thankful and proud of the GP Reeves team for the support of this cause and my family through this challenging time. I hadn’t heard of CNS vasculitis until my wife faced its consequences. Even the neurologists were shocked by this rare outcome, but at least we can look towards a future of more awareness and treatment options” Kevin shared.

To celebrate the accomplishments of the company’s internal fundraising efforts as well as the research and empowerment of Michigan Medicine’s Stroke Division, GP Reeves will gather to observe International Vasculitis Awareness Day and present a check to leaders of the Fundraising Department at Michigan Medicine. The May 13th event will feature local food vendors, team activities, and speeches from Kevin and Karla Reeves as well as the team at Michigan Medicine.

GP Reeves is thrilled to be able to celebrate this cause with such a fun and positive event. The event will take place at GP Reeves’ headquarters, 4551 Holland Ave, Holland, MI 49424, on May 13th from 12 – 1 pm. As a smaller company, the team is proud of its hard work and its ability to impact such a vulnerable community. In the words of Kevin, “It took long months of pain and challenges for Karla to leave the hospital, to be able to breathe on her own, for her to see our kids. It’s been over a year now and she’s still struggling to take back what the stroke took away, but improving awareness and supporting further research gives us hope that others won’t have to go through the same tragedies.”

If you are interested in supporting their fundraising effort, you can contribute here

About GP Reeves, Inc.

GP Reeves, Inc. was founded in 1971 and has grown to become a leading global provider of engineered dispensing systems and solutions for manufacturing. GP Reeves designs and builds a complete line of ambient applied and heated material dispensing equipment and dispense automation. Their patented air removal process produces a low maintenance, highly repeatable system built in Holland, Michigan. GP Reeves’ customer base includes the world’s leading names in automotive, life sciences, aerospace, furniture, consumer goods, electronics, industrial manufacturing, and more. With locations and distributors in North America, Europe, and Asia to serve its customers, the company is looking ahead towards continued success and growth. GP Reeves is focused on innovation and technology through a service mindset to their team members, customers, and community.

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