A Nampa teen battling a potentially terminal disease and on the waiting list for a double lung transplant still finds time for laughter.
Gauge Edwards, 14 years old, has been in a battle for his life and lungs since he was born. Doctors diagnosed him with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) as a newborn.
Now, his declining lung capacity has prompted doctors to recommend a double lung transplant. There is not a transplant team in the Treasure Valley to perform the risky surgery. Instead, Gauge and his parents will pack up and head to Houston and a team of experts at Texas Children’s Hospital.
The cost of the surgery and the living expenses while in Texas could easily amount to up to $200,000.
Once on the transplant list, Gauge must be within one hour of the hospital at all times, ready for the life-changing surgery.
Gauge’s parents, Frank and Trish, will not be able to work while in Houston because of the doctor’s appointments and testing, in addition to caring for Gauge’s everyday health needs.
Gauge has a positive outlook on life and still finds time for laughter. When 6 On Your Side first interviewed Gauge, he let it slip that he listens to a particular radio morning show every day on his way to school.
“The Morning After with Nic and Big J” is a show that airs weekday mornings on 100.3, The X. When our news team told the hosts, Nic and Big J, that Gauge was a fan, they invited the teen and his father in to hang out for a morning. It turned out to be quite memorable for father and son.
Gauge discussed his condition with the DJs on that show. Of his Cystic Fibrosis, Gauge told the hosts, “Pretty much, 5% of the population has it like I do.”
Big J remarked that Gauge’s upbeat personality was probably the best thing for the teen and his family.
“You have a great sense of humor and that’s part of the way you get through this,” Big J pointed out.
Gauge sat quietly in studio, listening intently for much of the show. And then, Nic made Gauge’s presence known.
“It’s ‘The Morning After with Nic and Big J’ and all morning we’ve had a very special guest in studio watching the show do what the show does,” Nic informed listeners.
Gauge spent the morning doing a little learning.
Nic patiently showed Gauge exactly what goes into getting a production like “The Morning After” on the airwaves.
“Once that hits zero, I’ll hit the play button to kick off the little intro thing and then Big J starts yapping,” Nic explained.
Nic and Big J weren’t the only ones laughing this particular Friday morning. Gauge got in his share of chuckles as well.
When asked why he liked the show, Gauge responded, “They’re just funny guys!”
But the big-hearted morning show hosts didn’t just show Gauge the ins and outs of the radio business, they also had a few surprises up their sleeves.
Big J sprang one of them on co-host, Nic, and Gauge at the same time. Mentioning that he hadn’t talked it over with Nic, Big J extended a special invitation to Gauge.
"I'd like you to be our guest to come to the show, to meet the bands because you're a big X Rocks fan and you like all these bands. We think it would be great for you to come experience that with us."
Through all of the levity of the morning visit, Nic and Big J did not lose sight of the gravity of Gauge’s situation.
"You could get a call at any time to say hey it's time for you to get your double lung transplant," Nic said as he reminded viewers why Gauge was in studio in the first place.
Nic and Big J vowed to help Gauge and his family raise the money to temporarily relocate to Houston for the surgery and the follow up care.
Gauge’s aunt, Dinae Edwards, observed the whole visit. Diane said, “I think it gives him hope to see that people care and all these people come together to make it happen.”
Gauge described the invitation to be a special guest at an X Rocks sponsored concert featuring Five Finger Death Punch, Shine Down and Sixx A.M. as “Awesome!” just as Nic made one last promise to the teen.
“We’re in your corner brother!”
This leads to a tremendous financial burden for the Edwards. There is a Go Fund Me page set up in Gauge’s name. While the family is not speaking out to seek financial help, the funds will certainly help ease the burden as Gauge awaits, undergoes and then, recovers from this life-saving double lung transplant.
Go Fund Me link: