Thursday, January 10, 2013

Will you join me this year in the March For Babies?

Dear Friends and Family,

A question that I have been asked many times is, “What exactly is the purpose of the March of Dimes?”  I want to answer that for you by saying that the March of Dimes is a non-profit organization committed to their outreach of helping mothers reach a full 40 weeks in their pregnancies and that they are also an organization that will continue to conduct research to ensure that one day all pregnancies result in happy, healthy babies. 
Did you know that The March of Dimes was established in 1938 by FDR to fight polio?  It was, only it was operating under the name the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.  After polio was eradicated in our country, the mission focus was shifted to premature birth and birth defects and the name was changed to The March of Dimes. 

Throughout the years, the March of Dimes has launched various campaigns to promote the importance of prenatal care.  An example of this is the organization's folic acid campaign that urged women to take folic acid not only while they are pregnant but before they plan on conceiving.  The research behind the campaign proved that folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects and is important for all women of childbearing age to take.  Because of just this one important breakthrough the March of Dimes has helped save the lives of thousands of babies in America and globally. 

Tonight I logged on to the computer to formally sign myself up for a  March for Babies Family Team again this year to help the March of Dimes work towards the day when all babies are born healthy and on time, which most of you know is something very near and dear to my heart. 

I am writing today to ask you to join me.  I would love it if you would log on to my web page ( and join my team as a walker, make a donation, or create your own family team to walk on Saturday, April 20th at John Dam Plaza in Richland. 

As a Family Team, we are able to raise money for a cause we believe in and at the same time increase awareness of the crisis of premature birth, birth defects and infant death.  The March of Dimes depends on volunteers like us to help raise funds to continue this work.  Together, we will champion the health of Washington’s families! 

My family knows first-hand the importance of the March of Dimes mission.  As most of you know, I was a 32 week, 3 pound 10 ounce preemie born in 1980.  Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland had no NICU back then, so on a dark, cold January night I took my first helicopter ride (without my mother) to Deaconess Hospital in Spokane and there I stayed for just over one month.  It was a long journey for my mom and a story that I had heard growing up many times, but never fully understood the weight it carried for my mom until my own son, Trenton, was born at 29 weeks gestation in 2007. 
Photos of me and my mom in the NICU at Deaconess in Spokane

My nurse with me at Deaconess NICU January 29, 1980 

He weighed in at only 2 pounds 10 ounces and it is because of the love and support he received in the NICU at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, CA and the March of Dimes vision and relentless pursuit to save babies, that he is an amazingly healthy boy who will turn 6 this March.  
Trenton about 6 hours after birth

Holding Trent for the first time on Day 6 in the NICU
Trenton at 8 days old
Kangaroo Cuddles for me and Trenton at 10 days old

His NICU journey prompted me to seek out this organization to get behind.  I participated in the March for Babies in 2008 and 2009.  I wasn't able to participate in 2010 due to a high-risk pregnancy that ultimately ended with the stillbirth of my daughter, Paige, at 22 weeks gestation.  My heart may be forever broken, but her death has been further motivation for me to want to give back in hopes that no other family will have to endure what we have endured.  Leaving the hospital with empty arms felt like my heart was being ripped from my chest.  Tears did not stop flowing for months.  

(To read Paige's story go to  
Paige a few hours after birth August 2, 2010

Daddy holding his little girl at the funeral home
Me kissing Paige goodbye on August 8th, 2010
Trent and I at her grave site before family arrived for her funeral

But that is not where the story ends…with a sweet little boy in my arms and a precious girl looking down on me from heaven, my husband and I welcomed a beautiful, healthy, full term baby boy, Mason in 2012.  And when I am out there walking on April 20th, you better believe that I am walking for him too!   
Brian giving the thumbs up - which means 10 tiny fingers and 10 tiny toes

Breathing in the sweet scent of my brand new bundle of love
The first photo we have of the three of us together
The very proud, big brother holding Mason

I appreciate you taking the time to read this.  I hope that it inspired you to join me in the March for Babies fundraising campaign this year! 

And now, I am going to challenge you.  If you are making a donation to my team, would you please consider donating $66 in honor of the number of days Trenton spent in the NICU OR $22 in honor of the number of weeks I was pregnant with Paige. 

Thank you!