...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

in honor of maddie

I don't think there are too many people reading this who didn't have their heart broken on April 7th of this year. That's the day we learned that Madeline Alice Spohr, whom we all knew as Maddie from The Spohrs Are Multiplying, was suddenly taken from her parents, Heather and Mike, when a respiratory infection coupled with a collapsed lung was more than her 17-month-old body could fight. Thousands of people across the country mourned with Heather and Mike, and thousands came to their support by donating to the March of Dimes in Maddie's memory.

Since then, the Spohrs, along with family and friends, have created
Friends of Maddie , a fund dedicated to supporting families of critically ill or prematurely-born infants during their stay in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with supplies, help finding temporary lodging (because the NICU isn't always within commuting distance of home) and by creating a network of support. Friends of Maddie uses your donation to put together support packs for families who find themselves overwhelmed with the care of an at-risk newborn. The packs include items such as reusable water bottles, snack bars, tissues, mints, and most importantly, a tri-fold binder with a note pad and accordion file to keep track of paperwork. "We're hopeful it will make it at a little easier for parents to keep track of everything," Heather says."You get SO many papers, business cards, etc., every day, and it's hard to keep track of everything."

She should know, she lived the experience. Maddie's sixty-eight-day stay in the NICU
is chronicled on Heather's blog and her husband Mike's blog as well. Readers across the country followed every setback and every victory. What message would she like to pass on to parents in the same situation? "Patience. Take things a day at a time and live in the moment. Don't look down the road or things will get REALLY scary and overwhelming," shared Heather. The reaction to the packs has been terrific, according to Heather. "We've been getting a FANTASTIC response from everyone! We weren't expecting such a big response so we are really behind in getting back to everyone, but it's a good problem to have!" By now, you are all wondering how you can help, right? I knew it. You people rock. Your options:
  • Donate! I know, the economy is bad right now, but every little bit helps!
  • Let your local NICU know about Friends of Maddie.
  • Do you work for a company that might bring a valuable service to NICU parents? Contact Friends of Maddie.
  • Just spread the word! Write a blog post! Send out a tweet! You all know how this works!
Mike and Heather's loss is unimaginable. In spite of their grief, they have found a way to pay forward all the love poured out from thousands of hearts across the Internet. Tell your friends about Friends of Maddie!

10 Comments:

Blogger Aunt Becky said...

Beautiful. You're a great friend, fakog. I'd be glad to have you on my side any day.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Thank you for sharing this.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger just making my way said...

Thank you for reminding people of such an important cause. It's easy to make our little everyday problems seem monumental - something like this always puts things in perspective.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Woman said...

It's such a great cause.....I've spread the word to my US friends. I wish there was something like that for the parents here in NZ. It would be invaluable.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 2:22:00 PM  
Blogger Sailor said...

Thank you, for reminding us all.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 7:51:00 PM  
Blogger bernthis said...

I was at the funeral for Little Maddie. I have never met Heather or Mike but my heart went out to them as I too have a little girl whose health I am grateful for every day of the week.

They are an amazing couple and stronger then I ever could be.

Thursday, November 12, 2009 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger Laggin said...

:)

Thursday, November 12, 2009 5:57:00 AM  
Blogger kanishk said...

It's easy to make our little everyday problems seem monumental - something like this always puts things in perspective. Work from home India

Thursday, November 12, 2009 7:25:00 AM  
Blogger lime said...

bless them for taking their own sadness and using it to drive them on to help others in similar situations.

Thursday, November 12, 2009 8:05:00 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Thanks for the info. I couldn't imagine what they have been through.

Friday, November 20, 2009 10:53:00 PM  

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