Some of my long time readers may remember that last year my sister and I participated together in the March of Dimes Walk America Campaign. It's an amazing cause that has touched so many lives. As you will remember from this post, my daughter was born with heart problems and it was research, funded by organizations such as the March of Dimes, that helped us through it.
But if that weren't reason enough, we also have another member of our family who was touched directly by organizations such as this.
His name is Julian and I'm proud to announce he'll soon be my nephew. My sister Lana will be marrying his father, Chris, this fall. Julian is a spectacular kid. Very intelligent and loads of fun to be around. Julian is special. Not just because we love him, but because he's a walking miracle. You see, he was born 4 months premature weighing in a just over a pound. Here's a quote from Lana's MOD page:
Julian had many complications and as a result had surgery to help close a cardiac anomaly known as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and laser eye surgery due to retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)---both problems common to premature babies. He also had surgeries to repair Bilateral and Inguinal Hernias as well as procedures to alleviate cranial pressure due to hemorrhages.
When Julian was born (mid-term) the doctors gave him a 20% chance to live. They told his family that if he did make it through alive, he would certainly have one or more disabilities including cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, mental retardation and other arrested development.
Julian was strong and was able overcome all the odds stacked against him. He has worked through his asthma by being active in soccer and swimming. Through ocular therapy, he was able to improve his vision to the point where he wears normal glasses (He’s looking forward to next year when he will be fitted with contacts). Chris is a proud father of a healthy teenager, Boy Scout, big brother, honor student and scholastic mentor.
Isn't that amazing! Thanks to caring people like you, the Julians and Rachels of this world have a chance at beating unbelievable odds. If you feel moved to help with this years walk, it would be appreciated by parents and family members all over the world. This year I'm unable to walk with my sister due to our recent move, but Lana will still be walking for this wonderful cause. This years event will take place at The Muny-St. Louis Forest Park on April 26th at 9 a.m. Please consider donating to her walk and supporting all the wonderful work that is being done. Someday you, or someone you love, may be touched by the very research you are helping fund with this years walk. Bless you all for your help!