Monday, April 28, 2008

Walking for Babies

Years and years ago (18 to be exact), before Mike and I got married, we pounded doors and asked for donations for the March of Dimes. It was humiliating and highly discouraging. We were canvassing in my parents' neighborhood (as we were living with them before we got married), which is a predominantly white, middle-class area. We had probably 15 rejections for every donation. So our first fundraising efforts didn't meet with much success!

At the time we knew so little about prematurity. In those days, I thought of the March of Dimes as benefiting research and treatment of birth defects. I can't remember how we became recruited to go door to door, but I'm guessing it's because of my soft spot for organizations working to prevent and treat birth defects. (Because I was born with a cleft lip and palate, and I've always been aware of how lucky I was to be born in the place and time I was...)

After our 117-day experience in the neonatal intensive care unit with the birth of Chris, we have become ever more appreciative of research and development to prevent prematurity and birth defects. We've been walking to raise money for the March of Dimes for the past several years.

We were blessed with a sunny day for the walk! We came within $29 of our ultimate fund-raising goal of $1,500 (we raised $1,471), and Chris is a March of Dimes "top walker" again this year. To all of you blog readers out there who support the March of Dimes, either by sponsoring Chris or someone else, we give you a big, hearty thank you!!!

Our family with another Precious Beginnings walking family

Over the years, the organization we have been involved with (Precious Beginnings: Parents Supporting Parents of Critically Ill Newborns) has been shrinking, as our volunteers' children get older and as it's become very difficult to recruit new volunteers because of HIPAA regulations. Although the intentions of HIPAA were no doubt good, it's crippled our efforts to attract a new volunteer base. I'm sad about that, because I know we helped a lot of NICU families, but at the same time I got burnt out from years of volunteering. Mike's the one who is now involved, and I'm happy to be the supportive spouse!

Chris and Kieran after the walk

Playing in the kids' zone

Nicholas having a "ball" in the ball pit!

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