Monday, April 06, 2009

Walking the Walk

Holland and Eden are VERY excited about March for Babies this year. We've picked out a color (RED) and pictures for our "team shirts", and have been talking about it for weeks. They remember how much fun it was and even remember some details from last year that I wouldn't expect them to. They both have excellent memories. I think they get that from me, as they certainly don't get it from their dad!

This is the first year that I feel like they "get it" enough to talk about WHY we are walking. I tell them we are walking to help that other babies won't be born too early, too little, too sick, and have to stay in the hospital for a loooong time like they did.

I don't go into a lot of detail because it makes them sad. They always ask for reassurance that I was there too. I tell them "yes, Mommy came every day to visit you and hold you at the hospital." I tell them that the doctors and nurses helped me take good care of them so they could get better and come home. They know that they needed machines to help them breathe and tubes to help them eat. They know that Holland did NOT wear glasses in the hospital, and that Eden did NOT have her "hearing." They know that they DID get better, and they DID get to come home.

I don't tell them about the other babies who aren't so lucky.

We are walking to raise money for the March of Dimes. We want to help fund research exploring the causes of premature birth so that it can be prevented, as well as research into providing better care to babies who are born prematurely so that long term disabilities can be minimized.

Holland and Eden would not be here today if it were not for life-saving research funded by the March of Dimes. But clearly there is a lot more work to be done. I live with this fact everyday when I am giving breathing treatments, stretching muscles, lugging equipment, and trying to get my girls to eat so they will gain weight.

There is more work to be done.

I feel that as the parent of surviving micropreemies, I must do my part in educating people about the long term effects of prematurity and encouraging people to become part of the solution. It takes time, it takes money, and most of all it takes research.

Since 2006 Team Holland and Eden has raised over $10,600.00! This year I'd love to see us raise more than ever, and have set our team goal at $5,000.00. It's a lofty goal, but certainly possible, isn't it?

My own personal goal is $3,000.00. If you'd like to support me you can visit my personal page to make a donation. I know times are tough, but if you forgo that Starbucks frappucino, or fast food lunch for JUST TODAY, you could brew your own coffee, pack a bag lunch, and donate just $5 or $10 dollars for a good cause. Or as Eden would say, "to help other babies in the hospital."

If you are thinking about, or planning to walk with us on April 25th, I would HIGHLY encourage you to go to our Team page, and sign up as a new walker. I'd like to challenge everyone on the team to get out there and raise their own money this year! Each of you has your own circle of people...friends, family, co-workers, church members, bowling league...that you can ask to donate that I might not be able to get to personally. And if you raise at least $125 you can get your own March for Babies t-shirt:-) Thank you Kim, Liz, and Patti for already signing up!

If you are planning to walk with us, and want one of our red "team shirts" give me a call or an email to let me know your size. These shirts are $5 each to cover costs and will be ready the week before the walk. I will bring any not picked up on the day of:-)

As Holland would say..."I can't wait." Or in Eden's words again, "It's going to be weally fun!"


Anonymous said...

So awesome that you're raising money for such a wonderful cause and educating people at the same time. I am thankful everyday for the advances in medical care for Moms and premature babies. Through hospitalization and the help of an excellent team of professionals, my twins were able to stay in the womb an extra 5 wks after the major complications started. This shaved quite a bit of time off their NICU stay and gave them a much better start in life than they would have have otherwise. We were so damn lucky and I am beyond grateful. We heard so many heartbreaking stories in the hospital. My twins were the only surviving twins in the NICU. You are absolutely right- so much has been accomplished, but there is so much yet to achieve.

Best of luck in the walk for your beautiful, wonderful, inspiring family!

Anonymous said...

I am always a big supporter of research that helps prevent disabilities in children. If I lived in the US I would join your walk as I have read and been inspired by your girls' stories since they were a year old. My grandmother used to be nursing supervisor at the Grace Maternity hospital in Halifax and saw a lot of preemies during her work there. She passed away on January 31 after a short battle with cancer. I made a donation to your walk about a week ago, partially in memory of my grandmother and her work with babies.

Carolynn from Western Australia said...

Hi Billie, John, Holland and Eden,

You might remember I have written to you before. I have spent the last 26 years (this May) working in the same Neonatal Intensive Care Unit here in Perth Western Australia. It is currently an 80 cot Unit but we often go over that number so are in the process of expanding to a 100 cot Unit, we are the largest Unit in the Southern Hemisphere.

I think the 'March of Dimes' is a wonderful idea, as you know Units like these need funding for expensive equipment and for research. There isn't anything like this in Australia, although we do recieve some funding from both the Lotteries Commision and from the Annual Telethon which is a television event that runs from a Friday Evening to 8 pm Sunday Night once per year.

I wish you and your team all the very best and I hope you get to reach your goals. I read your journal every day to keep up with what the girls are up to and yourself and John are doing a wonderful job. I know the girls both have problems of their own but intellectually they appear to be great, to me they appear very bright.

I am even able to check up on you at the moment while I am in hospital as hubby brought in the laptop and mobile internet, how great is that.

Take Care and enjoy the walk.
Lots of Love to you all and HUGS for the girls.
Carolynn :-)

AZ Chapman said...

hello I have a question I used to have a teacher that looked simlar to u and i was woundering if u know Amiley from wisconsin

Billie said...

No, I don't know her:)

elaine said...

I just stumbled onto your blog last week and I've spent every free minute catching up on Holland and Eden's story (my son is four months... so its hard to find those free minutes). I want to let you know that I think you and John do such an amazing job with them and that they are so lucky to have you guys as their parents!

Thank you for sharing your story and best of luck with the walk!

Embarking on a New Journey said...


I would love to post your video on my If you would allow me to.


Billie said...

That's fine with me!

AZ Chapman said...

realy y look so simalar maybe I spelled it wrong here is the right spelling Claire Amley. if u do not know her or do come visit me i have cp too and read about your kids all the time

Anonymous said...

Everytime I watch your video I have the song stuck in my head for weeks!