Pizza News

The Loop Pizza Grill Holds April 26 Fundraiser for Young Family Hit with Two Life-Threatening Medical Issues

Just five months ago, Brett Borger and Heather Gavin were looking forward to a happy future together. They thought 2014 was going to be spectacular – they were due to be married.

Then medical disaster struck – not just once, but twice. Each of them now faces a battle for their lives.

The health odyssey began in late December when Heather went to the hospital complaining of abdominal pain. The pain turned out to be kidney cancer. She underwent emergency surgery to have one of her kidneys removed, and has been unable to work since December.

 Brett, who has worked for The Loop in Deerwood close to six years as a Dining Room Attendant, began picking up extra shifts to help pay for medical bills. "You'd see Brett at least five or six times a week, greeting guests, clearing tables and delivering food….and always with a smile." said Cathy Manzon, Director of Marketing.  But despite all of that, he couldn't keep up. The couple – who have two young children – sold their car and motorcycle to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head. With no insurance, they have wiped out their life savings. They are behind on their rent and medical bills.

Just this week Brett was helping The Loop plan for an April 26 fundraiser to help raise money for his fiancée. In addition to the bills that have mounted so quickly, the family needs money to pay for Heather's overdue PET scan to see if her kidney cancer is in remission.

Then disaster struck again. This week Brett was rushed to Jacksonville Baptist Hospital complaining of chest pain. Doctors discovered a heart condition that will require open heart-surgery. The Loop's on-staff Chaplain Moo Hadden has been there for Brett and Heather and by their side praying for a miracle.

"Brett has cared for thousands of Loop guests over the years, and is known for his kindness, genuine service and caring. In addition to receiving support and help from his co-workers and friends, we need to do more," said Hadden.

A young family already devastated by the young mother's battle with kidney cancer has lost its sole care giver while Brett recovers from the emergency surgery.

The Loop is moving forward with the fundraiser that now takes on an even greater urgency. Heather still needs the cancer scan and Brett faces tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

On Saturday, April 26, The Loop will donate 20% of sales generated that day at the Deerwood Loop to help Brett and Heather, which will go directly to the couple.

"This is too devastating for words,'' said Mike Schneider, founder and owner of The Loop. "What this young family is dealing with is inconceivable – our hearts go out to Brett and Heather. We encourage everyone to help any way they can." 

Brett is facing months of recovery and doctors won't clear Heather to go back to work until after her scan. She will now have to spend time helping Brett recover – as well as care for the children.

A special fund has been established at the Regions Bank. Checks can be made payable to either Brett Borger or Heather Gavin. Memo- Brett and Heather Fund. Checks can be dropped off at the Deerwood Loop or mailed to Regions Bank 9421 Baymeadows Rd. Jacksonville Florida 32256. Attention – Brett and Heather Fund.

About The Loop

The Loop Pizza Grill is a neighborhood fast-casual restaurant that offers the quality and atmosphere of a full-service dining establishment. As a pioneer of the fast-casual segment for over 30 years, The Loop Pizza Grill was one of the first restaurants to offer a variety of made-to-order fresh foods in an upscale environment. The Loop serves a variety of signature pizzas, burgers, salads, sandwiches and hand-dipped milkshakes. Based in Jacksonville, Fla., The Loop Pizza Grill was founded by Mike and Terry Schneider in 1981 as a 60-seat restaurant. Today there are 13 locations in two states. For more information, visit