As you may know from reading some of my past posts, I’m very passionate about fundraising for causes close to my heart. I’m so honored that we were chosen to be the Ambassador Family for the March of Dimes because they support those causes, one of which is premature birth.
If you haven’t been a long-time reader, our identical twins were born at just 25 weeks, 5 days (a full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks,) due to Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome and Selective Intrauterine Growth Restriction, both conditions of the placenta where one baby does not get enough nutrients and the other gets too much. This resulted in an early delivery, and very sick, small babies. It was a very difficult time for our family, and as it got a little easier, I made a promise to help other families like ours.
As I mentioned, our family has been chosen as the Ambassador Family for our local chapter of the March of Dimes this year. So, how did this happen? What does that really mean? Let me fill you in.
How It Started
After our twins came home from the hospital and had received such great medical care, I was looking for a way to give back and help others. I started this blog to reach out to other parents, but I wanted to do more, so I started doing some research to see how I could help some non-profit organizations.
I read through the March of Dimes mission statement, read about what they’ve done to fight premature birth, and what they are still doing to ensure all babies get the healthiest start in life. I knew I wanted our family to participate in the March for Babies.
As it was just out of Flu/RSV season, and the twins had been home from the hospital less than a year, I didn’t want to chance them getting sick. So, me, my husband, and my oldest went to the March for Babies to walk for our family.
I still remember seeing all the Family teams there with their matching shirts, baby names and stats on the back. Some were marching for babies just as small and sick as ours were when they were born. Others were marching in honor of the babies they had lost.
I also remember the Ambassador Family speaking before the March began. They shared their heartbreaking story, but you could still feel the hope and determination they had to help bring an end to prematurity and birth defects. I knew at that moment I wanted to share our story and help others too.
The next year, I started early and organized our Family Team. We set a fundraising goal, and recruited all our family and friends to help us. We raised over $1000!!!!
After the March, I wanted to be even more involved. I met with the Senior Community Director from the March of Dimes, and she helped me think of Fundraising ideas and told me about other programs I could be involved in.
I ran an Online Auction, solicited friends and family, and tried to recruit everyone I came across.
Our team grew, and so did our donation…we raised over $3000 this year at the March for Babies!!!
After seeing our dedication and commitment to the March of Dimes, we were asked to be the Ambassador Family this year. We now get to share our story with everyone at the March for Babies! I want to provide hope and encouragement, along with awareness about premature birth and high risk twin pregnancies.
In addition to speaking at the March for Babies, we will be helping with other local events throughout the year to raise awareness and donations. We got our Family Picture taken, which will be used to promote the March for Babies, and I already had my first opportunity to share our story with some business leaders in the community. I went to a lunch meeting with the Senior Community Leader, and got to share my pregnancy and birth story. Everyone was so welcoming and receptive. It felt really good to be showing firsthand how the March of Dimes works to support families like mine. (In case you’d like one example, both my twins needed surfactants to help their lungs develop, which was invented with help from the March of Dimes.)
Later next month, we will be attending another couple fundraising events where we will also get to share our story.
So, as you can see, I’m very excited about our role, not only to raise money to combat premature birth and birth defects, but to raise awareness about them too.
Premature babies need our help! I hope you’ll consider a donation to the March of Dimes, and I also hope you’ll consider starting your own Family Team and Marching for Babies!
Please donate on behalf of our Family Team at https://www.marchforbabies.org/shanneva