Today is my daughter’s birthday. This girl …


This girl is amazing. She’s so smart (and sometimes smart-mouthed). She’s kind and quirky and funny (although her recent discovery of knock-knock jokes leaves much to be desired). She wants to be a scientist and a rock star, she plays teacher every day after school, and she informed me last night that she needs a white streak in her hair so she can look like Elsa.

She loves making lists but hates making her bed. She can build machines out of her blocks but can’t seem to master coloring inside the lines. And last week we both grinned ear to ear when she learned to play “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” on the piano.

This same girl was born seven weeks early seven years ago via an emergency C-section as a result of my scary high blood pressure. They held my three-pound, fifteen-ounce baby up to my face after cleaning her off — and then she was gone, wheeled down the hall to the NICU, where she stayed for the next 17 days.

I was sick enough and she was early enough that after that midnight meeting,
I didn’t see her again for two and a half days.

While I was recovering and she was acclimating to our world, Annalyn was cared for in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. Her every need was met, from teeny tiny diapers and warm blankets to feeding tubes and super small bottles. To be honest, I never gave it a second thought. Even when we got the stack of hospital bills later, I didn’t question – or appreciate – how much it took to take care of my baby girl.

I took for granted that when we needed help, it would be there.

Sleeping Annalyn

When I signed up to be a team leader for the Miracle Marathon, I knew I’d be helping out kids with cancer and kids with injuries. It didn’t even dawn on me that I’d be helping kids like my daughter, tiny babies in the NICU who came too early and needed more help than my post-partum brain ever comprehended.

Then I read about what the money raised by the Miracle Marathon will provide. Some examples:

  • Wee Pee sized diapers (for babies weighing less than 800 grams) – 42 cents each
  • Preemie diapers (for babies weighing less than 4 pounds…like Annalyn) – 50 cents each
  • Size 1 blood pressure cuff (for the youngest kiddos in the hospital) – $1.08 each
  • Baby blankets (for babies in the Neonatal and Infant Critical Care Unit) – $6.25 each

That means donating just $10 will provide a baby like my daughter 20 diapers. And $25 will provide a warm blanket for four babies. That means what I’m doing – what we’re doing together if you’ll join me! – is helping babies like Annalyn.

Every little bit helps, friends. Every single dollar. Today, in honor of Annalyn’s birthday, will you donate to my Miracle Marathon team?

  • $7 for Annalyn’s seventh birthday?
  • $10 for preemie diapers?
  • $25 for baby blankets?
  • Any amount to help the kids?

Thank you. THANK YOU! Let’s take one day to turn a whole bunch of lemons into lemonade together. Donate here.

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