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Friday, April 4, 2008

These Shoes Were Made for Marching!

April 27th is a red-letter day for our family.

We will be marching as Family Team Hallie & Olivia in the Philadelphia 2008 March for Babies, organized by the March of Dimes.

We are grateful for the work that the March of Dimes has funded. March of Dimes funded research into surfactant replacement therapy back in 1993 that changed the world for micropreemies---indeed, the findings of this study made it possible for micropreemies like Hallie to be alive today.

Hallie and Olivia were born at 23 weeks and 4 days. The traditional borderline of viability is 24 weeks because it's then that the fetus' lungs are mature. That doesn't mean a 24 weeker can breathe on his or her own; far from it. But at least the 24 weeker has enough lung tissue developed to eventually be able to do that with a lot of help. Surfactant helps the lungs open up and inflate. But micropreemies cannot produce it on their own. March of Dimes funding helped the scientists perfect its production artificially and design protocols that are now used across the world to save babies like Hallie & Olivia.

But the March of Dimes is doing more than this; they are also trying to prevent preterm labor and delivery. We don't know why Sharon went into early labor with our girls, but we love to imagine a world where no one else has to go through what we went through and where fewer babies like Olivia succumb to the devastating consequences of their prematurity.

No family should have to go through what we went through: the loss of one child, and 122 days in the NICU with our other child. Years of special equipment and intensive therapy. Fears about the imminent dropping of the other shoe. And a very, very high likelihood of delays, disorders, and disabilities. And we know that we are among the lucky ones: Hallie is doing far better than any of her medical team members believed she would ever do. Hallie's outcome is nothing short of miraculous and we are grateful for that every single day. But we want to do more to prevent what we and every other family listed on our blog has experienced. And your support in this effort is critical.

So please help us in our mission to make people more aware of prematurity and its sequelae and to help fund research into preventing it and treating the consequences of it. Hallie has put on her marching shoes, of which she is very proud. So should you. And if you cannot march with us at the Art Museum at 8:30am on April 27th, then at least send your credit cards a-marching. You don't need to give a lot; small donations really add up. That's why Franklin Delano Roosevelt started the March of Dimes in the first place---if everyone alloted a few dimes to this cause, it would go a long, long way.

Click on the badge below to join our team or to fund our cause! After all, can you really resist this face?


Chris & AnnMarie said...

Hi Abby,

Thanks for the advice with Coy's reflux! I would love to try some Simply Thick and see if that helps. We are also starting him on Zantac and Reglan to hopefully prevent it from becoming any worse. My email is: Thanks again! Hallie is adorable!

Ann Marie Kolkhorst

Sara Cohen said...

Love the crocs! Charlie is obsessed with his. She looks great. Good luck at the walk! Sara

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Anna Sawin said...

I just posted about this today, Henry's team is marching, too!

Go family, go!