In 2003, we moved from Texas to Minnesota. The boys were aged 8 and 6. The boys settled with their mom in the small town of Virginia in northern Minnesota and started attending a church in Embarrass, Minnesota.

Two of the friends they grew up with at that church were the Laulunen brothers, Everett Rainier and Gabriel. Can you imagine the irony? Another Everett!

Gabe (left) and Everett Rainier (Right)

Now, Everett and Gabriel have a lot of love for my Everett and Austin. The four of them developed a beautiful relationship in this small community. My boys had a special way about them and they have touched everyone that has gotten to know them in a profoundly powerful way. And Everett and Gabriel are two of them, unmistakenly. Everett Rainier was actually my Everett’s PCA (Patient Care Assistant) for a while.

Everett Rainier reached out to me the other day to say that his brother Gabe is a graphic designer and that it might be possible that Gabe would be interested in donating his time and services to design a logo for The Everett and Austin Project. So I asked him to approach Gabe about it and sure enough, Gabe reached out to me within minutes and volunteered his time and services to the project. He is working on a logo and a letterhead and more.

What a blessing!


God is good. So Gabe has been working on a logo for 2 days. He asked me for 3 words that I’d like to convey with it. I gave him 5 thoughts and asked if that was ok lol. He said sure. Here are the 5 thoughts that I hope it conveys when it is done: compassion, bravery, contentment, peace and to be in the moment.

Whatever he comes up with will be brilliant I am sure, because it is coming from someone who knew and loved the boys.

Everett Rainier

Now Everett Rainier is a singer and songwriter. He told me that he has been working on a song for my boys for over 2 years and just can’t seem to finish it yet. He says he usually writes songs in days or weeks but this one has gone on for over 2 years. I look forward to when he can feel like he can record a demo of it.

What a beautiful story, am I right? It’s so very moving to me what Everett and his brother Gabe are doing for this project. Very touching and comforting. The care that they are both taking with their contributions is remarkable and gives me chills.

By Tim Gillen

I'm a born-again christian, sold out to serving the needs of the less fortunate and in Sub-Saharan Africa. I founded The Everett and Austin Project in October 2018 to honor my 2 boys posthumously by helping people living in poverty going thru Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and other rare diseases. My sons each died of Duchenne, Austin in 2012 at age 16 and Everett in 2017 at age 22.

2 thoughts on “Progress Update 2: Labor of Love from 2 of Everett and Austin’s Childhood Friends”
  1. Tim, I find your telling of the relationship between Everett and Gabriel and Everett and Austin to be both compelling and emotional! The giving of their respective talents of music and design as artists show them to be future stars! I do understand this heartbreaking disease, for I have a type of MD myself, Myasthenia Gravis. I wish your project all future successes, and your fight to find a successful end with a cure. Your friend, Janice Fox-Henley

    1. Hi Janice! Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts. Thank you also for sharing about the Myasthenia Gravis that you suffer from. My heart goes out to you as well. Hopefully we will find a cure to this wretched disease soon and it will be in time for you to benefit from it. There are hopeful things going on as I’m sure you are well aware.

      Yeah, that Gabe and Everett have contributed like this is definitely very moving indeed. Gives my heart courage and strength to persevere and devote my life work to honoring my boys’ name and helping others at the same time. Giving back as is often said, right?

      Talk to you soon 🙂

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