It was already a stunningly poignant story: Just before New Year’s, Kayla Gaytan of Kentucky miraculously gave birth to quadruplets in the midst of her struggle with cancer, as was reported by various media. But now it gets even more incredible: A GoFundMe page set up by Kayla’s husband, Army Sgt. Charles Gaytan, to raise funds for the premature infants has seen a wild spike overnight, pulling in more than $600,000 in just 12 hours.
“At about 8 p.m. CT, they were at $60K, and they’re now at $800K,” a GoFundMe spokesperson told Yahoo Beauty on Friday afternoon. “They’ve raised nearly a million dollars in about 12 hours. It’s crazy!”
The campaign, in four months, had been shared more than 6,000 times on Facebook. Although it had already been covered in People magazine and on NBC’s Today, the fundraising effort really took off on Thursday night, after Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and Jon Scott shared the family’s story on The O’Reilly Factor. O’Reilly urged “all Americans to try to pitch in.” It prompted tweets thanking Fox News and caused a spike that brought in donations every minute for a while, in amounts ranging from $5 to $300.
On Twitter, many have shared the story along with the hashtag #MarchForLife, making it a battle cry of sorts for the antiabortion cause. Many have made a point of linking their support of the family’s cause with that of President Trump.
— Gay & Deplorable (@purplemeatballs) January 27, 2017
— The Trump Train (@TheTrumpTrain) January 27, 2017
I’m supporting this fundraiser, please check it out: ‘Gaytan’s Quadruple Pregnancy ‘ https://t.co/LrwgeKcjfa
— Love Trump ???????? (@donnalea1788) January 27, 2017
One person who donated, Michele Scheid Bledsoe, took the opportunity to call out the generosity of Fox News fans in the message she left on the GoFundMe page. “I am blown away at the generosity of conservative FOX/Bill O’Reilly watchers,” she wrote. “Just proves we do love with very large, generous, and loving hearts. … God bless you!”
It’s no wonder the story — of babies Victoria Ann, Charles Edward III, Lillian Kate, and Michael James — is one that has inspired so much generosity across the country. The preemies were delivered on Dec. 30 via C-section at 30 weeks, weighing just 2-3 pounds each.
That’s because Kayla — who had previously been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and treated with chemotherapy, was told she’d likely not conceive, and then became naturally pregnant with quadruplets (a 1 in 700,000 chance) — learned, at 28 weeks pregnant, that she had relapsed. She would need to begin preparing for a stem cell transplant and more chemotherapy; now her tiny infants are in intensive care.
“They are currently in the [neonatal intensive care unit] and trying their best to breathe,” wrote Sgt. Gaytan on the GoFundMe page. “We feel very blessed. We’ve been extremely fortunate in our lives, however we appreciate any help as we have a long journey ahead.”