Gus Gear: A Long and Challenging Year in Review

Although 2020 lasted about as long as any other year (with the addition of an extra day in February), it felt much longer, like we’ve aged a decade together. The world has suffered, but we’ve also handled uncertainty beyond compare, and really learned to value the little things like togetherness and connection. Much as it did for everyone, the year presented challenges for Gus Gear. But still, it had its bright spots. More than ever, we appreciate you—our customers— and we’re thankful for what we’ve been able to accomplish in our continued effort to give you peace of mind. 

We’re closing out 2020 with some reflection and words from our founder and CEO, Sarah Palya about our biggest accomplishments, challenges, and plans for the future.

Biggest Accomplishments of 2020

“This year, we launched our completely re-designed Central Line Vest. It was a labor of love on a product that has become the heart of Gus Gear. It’s almost difficult to list all of the improvements, but I’m most excited about the custom-designed securement straps that hold any line or tubing snug up against the body. It fits better and is more comfortable to wear. We’re proud of all the hard work that went into incorporating suggestions from parents and clinicians, making the vest both home- and hospital-friendly. 

We also did a complete website overhaul and re-launched to create a better user-experience for our customers. Thanks to them, we now have some incredible new pictures on display. Plus, they can now check the status of their order, view their order history, and leave a product review.

Additionally—in a move that’s been a long time coming—we have begun enrolling patients in our clinical trial at UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA. It’s our ultimate goal to relieve parents of the burden of paying for the vest and this is the first big step toward achieving that.”

Biggest Challenges

“COVID-19 was the biggest challenge. Supply chain issues disrupted manufacturing, which significantly delayed the launch of the Central Line Vest. It also delayed the clinical trial due to restriction in enrollments during the pandemic. 

On a personal level, we’re dealing with what everyone else is— kids at home in virtual schooling, significantly reduced services for our special needs child, and a lot of general uncertainty. Within our community, we always must be extra careful with our medically fragile children. But the pandemic has certainly taken things to the next level. Virtual doctor visits, while necessary, can be challenging with complex kids, and elective procedures have been delayed or cancelled for many. That said, we feel very fortunate comparatively when so many families have been devastated by loss of loved ones, unemployment, and loss of housing. It’s truly been a year of patience, flexibility, and gratitude.”

Plans for the Future

“In 2021, we have plans to start 1-2 more clinical trial sites. We also want to expand our team! We’re hopeful for the return to “normal,” when we don’t have to fear so much for our children, family, and friends. 

Looking to the future, we’re most passionate about increasing our reach and ability to provide more kids with central lines, helping their care teams to keep them safe and out of the hospital. As always, our goal is just to help kids be kids and live their best lives.”

Gus Gear Into 2021

We have a lot of hope for the future, and we hope you do, too. In a world of uncertainty, you can trust that we are going to keep working to improve the quality of life for anyone facing medical challenges. Like always, if you have any questions about Gus Gear, our products, or our mission, reach out to us at (724) 513-4497 or fill out a form on our contact page

We’re wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season, from our family to yours!

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