I can’t tell you how many statistics I’ve heard this year. So many numbers about odds and chances that it makes my head spin. Did you know that more than half a MILLION babies are born prematurely each year? 1 in 8 to be exact. Premature birth is also the #1 cause of death during the first month of life. Many babies born early and survive live with debilitating disabilities due to underdevelopment. But the worst statistic was the one I realized a few weeks ago, all on my own. While so many of you followed our story here, and rejoiced in our triumph, I want and need you all to know just how lucky we were. In the 3 months that we spent in the NICU, 4 micro-preemies were born. All 24 weeks gestation, all 1 pound, 8 oz or less. And out of the 4, only one survived. Just one. Abigail.
I seem to be such a stereotypical bandwagon supporter. I become an advocate for the groups that support the things that effect me most. But isn’t that always the way it should be? I mean, how do you choose which charities you donate to? I’m betting you choose the ones that help the groups that you can relate to. The ones that somehow effect you. For example: I have been a HUGE supporter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for years. The trigger for that support? When my grandmother passed away from breast cancer. My advocacy only strengthened when my Aunt, her sister, passed away from it last year.
Truth be told, I had heard of the “March of Dimes” foundation before. They are a force to be reckoned with. But I honestly had no clue what they were all about. While I knew they worked for kids, I thought they did work with the homeless. I never knew they were one of the world’s leaders in research that focused on preventing premature birth. But about 5 months ago, I figured it out. 😉
I was pointed in the direction of the March of Dimes website, “in case we needed financial help.” I’m proud to say that we didn’t. Between the savings we had and the amazing insurance Anthony’s company provided, we were fortunate enough to not need the assistance. But that didn’t stop me from visiting their website. It provided all sorts of great information. Ways to get involved, ways to donate, ways to become part of an entire community of people that understood us. It was amazing.
So there you have it – the sole reason for my jump onto the bandwagon. March of Dimes is all about finding ways to prevent premature birth, as well as researching how to better care for babies that are born early so they have a better chance at a normal life. I want to be a part of the movement that helps families going through what we went through. Better yet, I want to be part of the group that finds the answers so that no one will have to go through it again.
Today, Wednesday, November 17, 2010 is the 7th Annual Prematuraty Awareness Day. Both Abigail and I will be wearing Purple, the official March of Dimes color, to support the event. Even cooler, the Empire State Building will light up purple today to support the event, too!!! I highly encourage you to join us.
And for those who are able and so inclined, we have set up a fund with March of Dimes, in honor of Abigail. You can click here to see Abigail’s Purple Band, and donate to help families who have ridden the NICU roller coaster like we have. We can help save the lives of little angels born too early. Thank you all for your support!