Adam Gerhard hosted a fundraiser for his cousin, Megan Gerhard-Weisberg, on Friday, who died while giving birth to her son, Tosh, from a rare reaction called amniotic fluid embolism.
The fundraiser featured his Reggae/Rock band, Joint Committee, at Fratello's in Laguna Niguel. Twenty percent of ALL sales will be donated to a fund that is set up in Megan's name. All donations to this fund go directly to help with Megan's children. The web site is: megsfund.com and you can donate directly from the website.
"Megan was extremely popular in the area and her untimely passing shocked the community," Adam Gerhard said.
Megan died March 16 and worked as a long time hairdresser in Laguna Niguel at Diva Salon. In addition to Tosh, now 8 months old, she is survived by her husband Jody, 32, and another son, Caydn.
Five generations of the Gerhard family has lived in the area for many years, Gerhard said. Both Megan's parents are local elementary school principals. Megan's sister, Eryn, is a teacher at George White Elementary.
As for AFE, it occurs when amniotic fluid and other debris enters the blood stream during child birth and causes an allergic reaction which is almost always, fatal. It's something that happens suddenly which makes it difficult to prepare for, according the AFE Support Foundation.
"She had the reaction while giving birth. Tosh was without oxygen for a short period of time. Fortunately, he's a fighter like his mom and is doing great. However, only time will tell if he has any long-term affects," said Gerhard.
AFE is very rare, he said, it occurs in approximately one in 20,500 deliveries.
"Unfortunately, it's still very misunderstood because most doctors will not encounter it during their career. Our hope is to spread awareness and make people cognisant of it," he said.
"Her Husband, Jody has been left with an enormous challenge raising Tosh on his own. Which is why I'm putting this [fundraiser] together," Adam Gerhard said.
As for what legacy Megan will leave, Adam Gerhard said: "Megan's legacy lives on through her two boys, Caydn and Tosh, and Jody. She had countless friends who loved her and a huge family who think about her every day. Everyone who met Megan learned something from her. Love, compassion and selflessness. I see all of those qualities in Caydn and Jody. And I know Tosh will have the same."
Adam Gerhard said he chose Fratello's as the venue because he has known owner, Bobby Madison, for years.
"He treats everyone who goes in there like family. When he heard about what happened with Megan, he really wanted to give back to our family. It's a family atmosphere and the food is amazing. Megan would go in there from time to time, as well," he said.
As for Adam Gerhard, he said what he will remember most and miss about his cousin, is pretty much "everything."
"She was so popular around here because she cared about everybody and loved her friends and family. She was an extremely devoted mother and her family meant everything to her. She had the warmest smile I've ever seen on another human being," he said. "I'm really going to miss sitting in her chair while she cut what little hair I have left and just catching up on how Caydn was doing ... and chatting about our family and mutual friends. She was beautiful ..."