Hello to all of you Friends, Family, Mothers or Children of Mothers!
Many of you know a bit about my story, but here is the way you can help support in the name of Prevention of and research into saving Premature Babies. I thought I'd tell you again briefly about my story and about what the March of Dimes does. Before I had preemies, I had heard of March of Dimes, but never gave much thought about the organization.
My story: I went through years of Infertility issues and finally became pregnant with triplets from IVF. I lost my triplet when I was 10 weeks pregnant. As I'm an "older" mom, I was told to get an amnio. Unfortunately, (due to the way the doctor did my twin amnio) my water broke on one of my girls from the amnio at almost 17 weeks from an amnio on my twin pregnancy. I was told to abort the pregnancy, as I would deliver in 24 hours and SHOULD I last longer, there was no way that I was going to have "healthy" babies. I defied all odds and lasted 10 weeks on bedrest. As the doctors predicated, I did get an infection (and almost died) and went into preterm labor at 23 weeks, my labor was delayed until I delivered very prematurely at a bit over 26 weeks. My first born daughter, Corinne, passed away in my arms a few hours after she was born due to her poor lung development from no amn iotic fluid for 10 long weeks. My surviving twin daughter, Kaitlyn, spent 4 longs months in the NICU. Both my daughters weighed 1lb 10 ounces. My daughter Kaitlyn was very very ill during her 4 months in the Neonatal ICU. She had a heart surgery when she was 4 days old, which cased her vocal chord to become paralyzed, had eye laser surgery to stop the Prematurity related blindness disease (ROP) (it's why Stevie Wonder is blind), has a feeding tube, had countless infections, blood transfusions, and we almost lost her many times.
She is now almost 2.5 years old and is doing quite well for how sick she was. She wears glasses. She still has a feeding tube. She speaks very quietly. She still vomits a lot (better than the 20x a day she used to). She still gets therapy 4 times a week (yes a week). Her first year of life we had well over 280 doctor/therapy appointments. Can you imagine? But she is my joyous miracle and she has her special guardian angel twin-sister looking over her every day.
I've since started a lot of support groups: I run a Micro Preemie on-line support group (for babies born under 2 pounds) that has over 225 members globally. I run a local Preemie support group in the bay area. I help with a Feeding Tube support group. I've been told I've touched a lot of lives. I want to give back to this incredible community of children and parents whose lives have been changed forever by their early arrival into this world. And I really want to publish my story and get the word out! Preemie life doesn't end when you leave the NICU. It's a hard road to be on.
I've chronicled my story since my water broke: here's a link to my story if you'd like to read more: www.aLizard.com
Why am I telling you all of this and about the March of Dimes?
Well, the March of Dimes does a lot of research into the causes and recovery of Premature babies. My daughters were both given Surfactant to help their lungs. (remember they were born each weighing 1.5 pounds) It's what saved Kaitlyn. Did you know the March of Dimes was responsible for this life-saving treatment of preemies? My daughter wouldn't be here today with us if it weren't for the March of Dimes. Maybe their research in the future will be able to help babies like Corinne. Did you know that the March of Dimes was also r esponsible for the life-saving research and funding to find the cure for Polio?
Every year the March of Dimes has a walk in honor of Premature Babies. It's called March for Babies. People have been walking in support of The March of Dimes for a long time, (hence the name, March for Dimes.) Initially the walk was about raising dimes in support! Last year I was chosen to stand on stage at the San Francisco walk and speak about my story. I cried on stage. Kaitlyn joined me not long after she learned to walk. It was very emotional for me (and for the audience I was told). I feel very strongly about supporting the March of Dimes in their prevention and research in support of the March of Dimes.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
If you click on the link below you can do a number of things:
1. Walk with us and help raise money on your own in support of the March of Dimes in names of my twin daughters. There is a "register to walk" button at the bottom of the page. I can get donation envelopes and posters for you to take to your offices/families/friends. Just let me know what you need! Please walk with us and help raise money!
2. Donate to the March of Dimes in the name of my daughters without walking. You can donate directly on-line (link below), or you can send a check to me, whichever is easier for you.
3. Just walk with our team without donating. (again, click on the register to walk button) http://www.walkamerica.org/KCMccarthy
The details of the walk: It's a 10K (that's about 6 miles, but there is a short version too if that's too far) 4/26/2008 9:00 AM - Fort Mason, San FranciscoBay & Laguna StreetsSan Francisco, CA This year I've set a goal to raise $2,000! If you register to walk with us and help raise funds at your office, this will be an easy goal to make!!