This year, we will walk for the fifth year in a row in honor of Matthew's memory. We will be surrounded by families that have been affected by prematurity, infant illness and child loss. We will walk with those that have both had miraculous endings and those that have felt the pain of saying good-bye to their baby far too soon. In 25 days, we will walk, one step at a time to give more babies a healthy start at life.
Every year (with last year being an exception) our team, Matthew's Team, holds a fundraiser to help raise money for the March of Dimes. The money raised goes towards research to help more babies be born full term and healthy, as well as help comfort families on the NICU roller coaster. The goal we set for our team this year is $10,000. That money can do a lot of good for a lot of families. It can help prematurity become a thing of the past and infant mortality something that affects fewer and fewer families.
Saturday night, we hosted Taco Night. It was a success. Thanks to the AMAZING sponsors, the INSPIRING team and everyone involved we raised more than $3,500 in a single night! Thanks as well to a special check presentation that night and our grand total for the evening exceeded $8,500!! Amazing. Incredible. Inspiring.
This is not something I could have even thought about doing alone. Starting months in advance, the planning begins. Many of our Sunday dinners were spent putting together team shirts, organizing the generous donations from the community, sending out donation request letters, preparing tickets and finalizing decor and details. We had some great help from family members in selling tickets and getting the word out for donation needs. Our moms and grandma were fantastic the day of with cooking a whole lotta tacos! Our families were much appreciated with setting up, serving food, cleaning up and helping everything run smoothly.
And look at this amazing list of sponsors:
Many people have asked why we still walk. It won't change our story. It won't bring Matthew back. It won't make a difference to us. And not only does that not matter to me personally, but it is wrong.
We started walking to do something for Matthew. As a mother, not being able to do anything for your child is such a helpless feeling. March for Babies was, and continues to be, a way that his name can live on. His life can have continued meaning to more that just us. And, it's a thank you. Matthew had time with us because of the work the March of Dimes has done. If he had been born a decade or two before, we may not have had any time with him at all. We may not have had those 10 amazing weeks with a sweet little prince.
And, without the research done by the March of Dimes, we would not have Samantha.
When I was first pregnant with her, we were told that we had a 30% chance of getting to viability and a 10% chance of getting to 38 weeks. Turns out, I wasn't one of those women who got a positive pregnancy test and that meant a baby would be here 9 months later.
During my first trimester, I went through repeat loss testing and it was determined that I had Factor Leiden V. A blood clotting disorder that can cause blood clots to form and increase your risk of stroke. It also means that you are more likely to develop blood clots during pregnancy. Blood clots in pregnancy can even result in preterm, premature rupture of membranes. Also known as your water breaking early in pregnancy. Sound familiar? The disease can be controlled and managed with baby aspirin and close monitoring in pregnancy.
Because of research done in prematurity and preterm labor, during my pregnancy with Samantha, p17 was approved by the FDA as a way to prevent preterm pregnancy. I started my shots at 16 weeks and continued to get one a week until I was 36 weeks pregnant.
Samantha was born at 39 weeks and 3 days. By cesarean because she refused to come out. She was born healthy, full term, screaming and has thrived in her 16 months with us.
So far, our team is $544 away from our goal of $10,000. I think we can do it. I think we can make a difference. If you want to help, or register to walk with our team (because awareness and support are just as important as donations) you can do so at: Matthew's Team!