Things I've Learned, Looking Back and Moving Forward

Things I've Learned, Looking Back and Moving Forward

"I was going to reach out to you. You beat me to the punch! I want to tell you that your strong faith of goodness reminded me that I also have that kind of faith. Somehow I stopped nurturing my faith and focused on feeling that strangers on the street are all serial killers! I watch too much Investigation ID. What I am trying to say is your spirit, faith, and energy awakened my spirit, faith, and energy. Thank you so much! I didn't realize my faith needed a jolt until I was faced with your beautiful faith."
Summer Germann
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Happy National Superhero Day 2018!

Happy National Superhero Day 2018!

The traditional definition states that it's a fictional character, but thankfully in the urban dictionary, it's been redefined: "A being with extraordinary physical or mental powers, far beyond the range of normal human ability, who uses these powers to protect the innocent and for the general good." 
Summer Germann
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Same Design, Fun New Superhero Colors

Same Design, Fun New Superhero Colors

Thanks to a precious little boy, Matthew, we're adding new colors to our SUPERHERO gown! Green & yellow is the theme for September awareness month! 
These children and families are true HEROES!
I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. ~Christopher Reeve
What is a Brave Gown? 

 

The hospital gown that turns any frown upside down!

Fight any illness with SUPERHERO POWERS!

Brave Gowns were not only created to bring happiness and laughter, but to also be softer, more comfortable and more functional than any gown in existence.  Not only do they have snaps on both sleeves, they also have fully back coverage, are as soft as your favorite t-shirt and have easy access to chest ports!

98% poly/ 2% spandex

Flame retardant. Brave Gowns meet and exceed hospital safety requirements.

GIFT A GOWN TODAY! www.bravegowns.com

Summer Germann
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All Brave Gowns on Sale In Honor of My Brother & Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month

All Brave Gowns on Sale In Honor of My Brother & Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month

 
While many of us are getting ready for a long three day weekend and holiday barbecues and sending our children back to school, there are thousands of families that will be in the hospital just praying that their children make it through the night. I pray for them every night, because I remember how scary it was to be in that position on many of nights. With September being not only, Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, but also Blood Cancer Awareness Month, I'm listing all Brave Gowns at cost for only $25!
It is with great hope that together we can put a Brave Gown on thousands of children in the month of September! Know a child in a hospital? Gift them a gown! Know a child going in for an upcoming surgery? Gift them a gown! Know a family that might be interested in a Brave Gown? Share the page! With out raising awareness on the comfort, functionality and just the pure AMAZINGNESS of a Brave Gown, families won't know they exist! Most families order a Brave Gown and then come back and order three more. Children go through an average of three gowns per day due to blood, vomiting and fluid leakage. Let's do our best to make sure that one gown is a Brave Gown and turn a child into a SUPERHERO today! 
Love & miss you, Mac!
Sum
Turn a child into a SUPERHERO with a Brave Gown or make it even easier and gift them an e-gift card so they can pick out their favorite character!  “Children in their younger years find it difficult to differentiate between reality and fiction, and as such, the trait of superhuman strength is completely believable to them,” says Dr. Amy Bailey, a clinical psychologist at Kids First Medical Center, Dubai
Please share to show you care! 
Summer Germann
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Little Miss Savannah and Her Chicken Wings

Little Miss Savannah and Her Chicken Wings

If you've experienced pediatric cancer first hand, you'd understand that there are so many dynamics in this one sweet picture.
While I could post pictures of Savannah in Brave Gowns (which I'm sure I will), this picture really hit home to me, for various reasons. Let's start with the obvious. Savannah has Leukemia, which was what my brother, Mac had. The difference there is that, Savannah, also known to me as "Punky Brewster" is battling it for her second time at the precious age of seven. My wish for her is to be back in her new house with her brother and sister and going to school with friends, but as I've said before, she has a spirit second to none, so I'm sure she'll be home soon. 
The next thing I see in the top left, is the chair with bedding on it. That chair. That darn chair. That chair might be comfortable for a night or two, but often nine months later a parent is still sleeping on it, still listening to the machines beeping night after night, still knowing the nurses are sneaking in as quiet as possible to check stats and to administer medicine, while praying and hoping for this all to be over soon.  This one prayer made me realize to pray and ask more specifically in life, because while I often prayed for it to be over, I had to look back and make sure that I was praying for Mac to be better, to be healthy and to be home. I had to check in with myself and make sure that I didn't ask for it to be specifically over, but in the moment, that's all you want. You want life to go back to normal, but little did we know, we would have a new normal going home without Mac.
Now on to what is one of my favorite memories! Those darn chicken wings. I follow Savannah's story (you should too) @teamSavannahwristbands and her mom, Cheryl, posts pictures of her and Savannah's journey and quite often Savannah is eating a huge healthy plate of food! Well, when I saw her genuinely enjoying her chicken wings, I laughed with such bittersweet memories. One of the reasons I created Brave Gowns, was to give the children more choices. They're in the hospital for weeks, months and sometimes years. They have such little choices due to treatments, low blood counts, low immune systems, etc...So, if they have the choice of what Brave Gown they want or what super power they need for that day or what they want to eat, then so be it. It's our job to give them what they need to fight during these horrific times. 
Well, one thing we learned during transplant is that you  can't have fresh food. No fresh vegetables, no fresh fruit. Organic or not, due to the risk of pesticides on the produce and having such weak immune systems. So, when I saw Savannah eating the wings, it hit me that 15 years ago seemed like yesterday. Mac loved food and when you mix that with prednisone, morphine and being tired, we watched his personality morph from a 10 year-old boy to a 90 year-old man. He had us jumping through hoops and driving from drive-thru to drive-thru and heaven's forbid, if one of the workers accidentally put lettuce on his spicy chicken sandwich. Even if the lettuce touched the patty, he couldn't eat it. If we brought it back and there was a slice of tomato or a piece of lettuce on that thing, it would go flying across the room like a Frisbee. When he was eating, we'd stand in the corner of the room and silently watch him like one of those old, Life cereal commercials, hoping that "Mikey liked it." We had to hustle him for 99 cents of his $100 McDonald's gift card to get him a McChicken sandwich. This was pre-ATM and using credit cards at fast-food restaurants.
My favorite food memory was when I was four months pregnant with my daughter, and Mac wanted Arby's. I'm telling you, I was like Ubereats, before it even existed. But any ways, he wanted Arby's. On my way there I got rear-ended. I called my mom to tell her what happened and that I wouldn't be back as quickly as we thought and all I could hear in the background was Mac yelling, "But does she have my food? Summer, did you get my food? She better have my food." We actually laughed even back then. How could you not.
They're not snotty kids.
Anywhere they can find a way to get even a little control, they do. Months go by and they're tired. They don't feel good. They see seasons changing. Holiday's come and go. They want to be home with their families, their friends, their dogs and they want to go to school. They have every right to be frustrated. At that point, you're just so darn thankful they're eating, because there are definitely days they don't and that's not a good sign.
For the next 36 hours, Savannah is going through a vigorous treatment. Please send prayers, strength, sleep and hope their way. They are a team and fighters, but no one can train for what they're living through on a daily basis. This is why Brave Gowns means so much to me. I understand what these families are going through first hand and every Brave Gown I send out, has a piece of my heart with it.
 
Above is a couple cute pictures of Savannah rocking her Brave Gowns with her mom Cheryl!
God Bless them.~Summer
Summer Germann
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Mr. T's Smile is Worth A Million Words

Mr. T's Smile is Worth A Million Words

Hi All!!!

It's a Sunday and I was working on new designs, while thinking about how thankful I am and how ironic life is. I have always said that I am just the vessel for Brave Gowns, but that is it. I have watched God, the Universe and the believers in Brave Gowns bring it to a level that I couldn't have ever done alone. The wonderful thing about Brave Gowns are that they bring people together from all over the world, because they are a product that you can't not love and root for. Last week my cousin was in a cab in Florida with a woman with cancer. He mentioned Brave Gowns and she knew exactly what they were and said she had purchase one for a child within the past year. I have received orders from California who then sent them to a child in Illinois whose mutual friend used to be my neighbor and reached out to me. There's a trail with Brave Gowns unlike anything I have ever witnessed. I have received calls from New Jersey, Australia, Tennessee and Washington from people in my past that have seen Brave Gowns on children they knew first hand. It's rare that a family purchases a gown and then the story ends there. There is so much heart and gratitude behind Brave Gowns that the village that fights to make Brave Gowns the new norm, carries on their hope and the vision to keep them alive and thriving. Last night, I received these texts from a friend in Wisconsin that I haven't seen in over 22 years. It's from Mr. T's mom, who knew that our mutual friend, Kelly, could get in contact with me personally.   

                                

                    

I was so touched to read her texts. The messages from the families are what drives me every day. These kids believe in Brave Gowns as much as I did when I first started and they give me the vision to continue the journey. They deserve the hope and comfort that Brave Gowns bring. What they battle is unlike anything you've ever seen, if you haven't witnessed it first hand be so darn thankful. Their smiles are real when wearing their Brave Gowns. They are my WHY in life. Our fight to bring Brave Gowns to all children's hospitals is easy compared to what the children are fighting. Please continue to help spread the good word of Brave Gowns on your end and I will continue to dive all in and be their voice. Happy Sunday and bless all these little heroes! 

~Summer

Summer Germann
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Iron Ethan Wins Body Part Bingo!

Iron Ethan Wins Body Part Bingo!

Ethan sure makes me smile! He has three Brave Gowns that he alternates regularly, but my favorite part of his pictures are his smile and that he does to play games! I'm not sure that we ever missed a Body Part Bingo at Children's Memorial! It was such a blast. You play it through our in room television and then if you win, you call in and the call goes live and they announce your name and room and then come in with your prizes! The competition gets real and it's so refreshing to forget where you are for even such a short time! I'm so glad Ethan won BODY PART BINGO in this picture!

Follow https://www.facebook.com/groups/ironethanschamps/ to read his story! Thank you to Ethan's mom, Ryanne, for sharing the pictures! We pray that you're all home soon!  www.bravegowns.com

Summer Germann
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Sometimes You Have To Go Back, Celebrate Small Victories & Remember The Why!

Sometimes You Have To Go Back, Celebrate Small Victories & Remember The Why!

*Since this magical day, CHLA has placed another order, because the gowns were such a hit!

Brave Gowns Clinical Trial Started & I Wanted to Share the Day with You!

I took me longer than expected, so I pull up right on time, not what I originally hoped for. Thankfully God & the universe had my back, because you see that white car right there? Well, that car was pulling away right as I was pulling up and not only was it the only spot on the block, it was also the closest spot (on the street) to the entrance. It was especially helpful due to the heaviness of the box of Brave Gowns, which leads me to the box...

This here box was filled with the 200 Brave Gowns. It's a heavy little box. I made it about four steps from my car to that bench when I started to see stars because I didn't have it gripped correctly. I regrouped, took a deep breath and hustled to the next bench about 75 feet away.

The next bench happened to be right by the entrance and I made it! It might not have been graceful, but I got there and that's when I saw said sign behind the bench which read "valet!" I'm thinking they would have let me pull up and unload the box there, had I known...

Then I went inside, but there was about a 10 family wait to be able to speak with the information booth, so set the box off to the side and got in line. That's I looked over and happened to see this...

I laughed out loud! I mean, look how much Brave Gowns were already helping children and they weren't even out of the box yet!

The lady checked me in and I went to grab the box! That's when a nice women offered me a wagon! She was a lifesaver...literally! She was a nurse...

Up, up and away we go! Sixth floor, here we come!

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love the doctor that is doing the trial. She's a tough, but gentle woman from Milwaukee, which made me even more fond of her. She could have easily have been a long lost aunt and runs the Pre & Post Op. Fun little fact here...For Pre & Post Op, they have to provide two gowns to each patient. One to cover the front and one to cover the patients back to have access to both. However, Brave Gowns eliminate this problem and the patients can move around comfortably in only one BRAVE GOWN! Well, back to the doctor, it just so happened that she felt the same way about the box as I did, so we took all the gowns out of the box and spread them all over her room so the nurses could come grab them as the pleased!

I gave here a hug, which actually might have scared her a bit, and I was on my way crying with gratitude. By the time I got to my car, I already had the image below from the doctor saying "the nurses loved them so much that they wanted to wear the gowns too!"

                                 (mind you they're not the right size ;)

                                            How adorable are they?

Did I mention that she made me take the empty box? I told you Ioved her!

So, I pulled away from the hospital and had talk radio on. Ok, I actually still had Joel Osteen on from the ride in and out of no where it switched to jazz. It was so out of no where that Iooked down and the radio and there it was...

11:11am

It's our thing. Mac was watching. He was proud. He was letting me know it's all going to be ok! I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and for once...I exhaled, but then I quickly opened my eyes because I realized I was driving!

Last picture...

It was the first day in a year and a half that I realized I might actually get to finally change my toe nail polish color. It's called "Eternal Optimist" and I can't change it until there's a huge movement for Brave Gowns, because I swear it's brought me the most luck ever! Every time I try to wear something else, I lose my mojo, I swear...

Thank you all for being on this journey with me! It's been such a gift...

Watch out world, we have a lot work to do!

Kindly & Blessed,

Summer

Summer Germann
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A Week of Gratitude

A Week of Gratitude

What a wonderful week this has been! So many amazing families have reached out to share their stories and to order gowns. The John Boy and Billy Show ran a clip on air about Brave Gowns, which I really wish I could have heard, but their fan base reached out to share their support for Brave Gowns which was so kind!

So far this week, we've put these children in superhero gowns, princess gowns, be happy gowns and a few baseball gowns! I always love seeing the orders come through, because I believe in Brave Gowns with all of my heart, but when I see the different sizes, it just crushes me. There were a lot of XS-2/4's that came through. My heart always drops and goes out to these families. Often Brave Gowns are purchased as gifts, when I see the billing and shipping addresses are different, I say a little prayer for the child knowing that the purchaser is trying to brighten the day of someone they love from afar! The gift cards are also doing well, which is so fun for the child to get to pick out their own gown! 

Thank you to all of you that are sharing, supporting and ordering Brave Gowns! To see all the children in these vibrant gowns vs the standard gowns is the most wonderful feeling!

Kindly,

Summer

www.bravegowns.com

Summer Germann
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Praying For Action 4 Jackson & His Family

Praying For Action 4 Jackson & His Family

This a bitter sweet moment to watch from a far. As Jackson's family just celebrated the birth of a baby brother last week, his parents are now suddenly preparing for Jackson to go to hospice. It's beyond special to see the baby laying on Jackson's stomach and seeing that they got to touch and meet physically. Some families witness and experience the circle of life first hand with pediatric cancer and we were one of them. I was pregnant with my daughter, Ocean, when Mac went to heaven. She was born three months later. 
This is one of the many reasons that I am so passionate about Brave Gowns and connecting with every single family that receives a gown. When I see a child in a gown, it brings me back to a time in my life I remember to clearly. I know first hand the fear and moments they're living through. You see so many pictures of children with cancer and their families smiling and making the most of the unknown. There is an adrenaline that is fueling these parents to bury their fears and wear their hope on their sleeves. Children's Hospitals are as magical as all the staff that fills them. The nurses, social workers and Child Life staff try to make these kids feel like they're in Disneyland, while doctors and practitioners are working diligently in the background trying to figure out the best treatment to get these children home. Behind these smiling faces are machines beeping, medicines being pushed, nurses and doctors in and out when the child has just finally fallen asleep, pain, mouth sores, hunger and sleepless nights. 
When looking at Jackson's family in the black and white picture above, I see so many emotions. It's the look of sadness, defeat and peace all at once. One day soon they will be home with their new baby that they will share stories about his big brother Jackson that is up in heaven and find their new normal, a term we all become familiar with. Every occurrence is life will now be calculated by "before cancer or after." It's that simple. They will find laughter, hope and smile once again, but a huge piece of their heart will be in heaven with Jackson. It's safe for me to say that when I see a child in a Brave Gown, I am looking at the piece of my heart that was left in that Children's Hospital with my brother that day. The more children I see wearing a Brave Gown, the more at peace my heart is. Please say a prayer for Jackson, his family and their hearts. Brave Gowns pulled together an amazing community that I am forever grateful for. Thank you.
xo,
Summer
www.bravegowns.com
Summer Germann
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The All New Brave Gown Gift Card!

The All New Brave Gown Gift Card!

Shopping for a little fighter in the hospital but don't know which gown they'd prefer? We just made gifting a Brave Gown to a child in the hospital or a child going in for surgery even easier! 

Give them the gift of choice with a Brave Gowns gift card! Let them choose which gown will bring them magical powers!

Gift cards are delivered by email and contain instructions to redeem them at checkout. Our gift cards have no additional processing fees.

Give A Brave Gown Gift Card Today! 

Summer Germann
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ALL NEW FIREMAN & POLICE OFFICER GOWNS

ALL NEW FIREMAN & POLICE OFFICER GOWNS

 

                   

We are so excited to share our new Brave Gown designs! Help children conquer their fears with Brave Gowns that help them feel brave like police officers and strong like fireman! www.bravegowns.com 

Summer Germann
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