March for Babies Minneapolis/St. Paul 2013 was another wonderful event.
If you haven’t been to a local walk before, please go. You will not regret it. The sense of community is really uplifting. Running into families who were in the NICU with you is a true joy. Meeting, in person, families you’ve only met online is awesome. Remembering the babies who did not make it is an honor. And, to see a large group of people coming together to support healthier babies…well, that’s one huge dose of hope. Hope for the babies and families of the future.
This was my second year walking for Super Wy’s Warriors in memory of Wyatt Olig. Here’s Wyatt’s poster that was on the path of the walk.
In honor of Wyatt, his mom carried Wy-Bear with her for the walk.
We saw so many wonderful friends from the NICU. I didn’t get pictures of them all, but here are a few.
There was Gio and Dina, a long time nursery mate in the NICU (Happy birthday on Friday, Gio!). Could Gio be any cuter?
There was Shandy whose daughter, Maria, had a very similar course – both 24 weeks with CMV leading to bowel perforations. Shandy was the unofficial community leader while we were in the NICU. She was friends with everyone and always had a hug and smile to share.
Of course, Kathy, Wyatt’s mom and the leader of Super Wy’s Warriors. Because of her efforts, our team has raised close to $12,000 for March of Dimes in the last two years. She’s also a great friend.
There was Joanna, Rich and Isaiah (hiding). Two-time neighbors in Nursey 2 and Nursery 6 at the NICU and Joanna donated breast milk to Owen.
There was Becca and her 23 weeker, Emma who took over Owen’s long time spot of bed 2B in the NICU . Beccca is a fellow Amplatz Parent Advisory Board volunteer and has introduced me to a close circle of NICU mom’s who are ahead of us in the preemie journey. (you can see her guest post about MOD lobby day here)
Kellen had a blast. I think his first crush is Wyatt’s big sister, Meredith who always takes him under her wing when she sees Kellen.
Kyle and his employer donated the hot dogs for the walk, so Kyle joined the grilling team. He loved it and has already signed up for the team next year.
Owen was pretty overwhelmed by the experience in a different way than the rest of us. There weren’t many of his trademark smiles. 6000+ people is a lot of people for a guy who has spent most of the last two years in isolation.
I think one of the best things about March for Babies is it doesn’t have the stuffy fundraiser feel. As you can see from the pictures, it’s a really happy and celebratory event. However, it can’t be forgotten that March for Babies is the number one revenue stream for March of Dimes. Donations are used to fund research aimed at finding life saving treatments for children born sick and to prevent prematurity. I was really overwhelmed by the support that this community showed in giving donations to my fundraising efforts for the walk. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for supporting this charity that has done so much for our family. I’ve, so far, raised $1857 dollars this year.
Also, with a background in food marketing, I was able to help make connections to secure food donations from my former employers General Mills and ConAgra Foods. Thank you Patricia and Michelle from General Mills and Daniel and Angela from ConAgra for the snacks. I was told by the March of Dimes that there was not a Nature Valley bar or bag of Poppycock Apple Crisp left at the end of the day – both were a hit! Kyle’s employer, Cargill, donated the hot dogs and many of the supplies, like Ketchup, mustard, napkins, serving trays. Joanna, Isaiah, Owen and I made the adventure to Sam’s to buy the supplies last week.
And, with all that love…I almost forgot to mention the weather. Did you notice by my tank top and Kellen’s shorts? Spring has finally hit Minnesota! It seems it’s leaving by Wednesday, but I’m loving 70’s while we can get it.