Mark and I have been asked to do some speaking engagements for the March of Dimes. He did his first one today for a company in Warwick. Him alone, telling his story and showing pictures. My bet is the tears are going to be flowing. He is the Aquidnick Island Chairperson for the MOD this year. Although at many times I get angry at the time commitment, I am really proud that he is doing this.
Here is his first speech. What do you think????? (don't worry I did the spelling, know one is going to see it)
Thank you all for coming today. Prematurity is something very close to my heart. On dec 3 2003 my son Mac was born 12 weeks early. He spent many days in the Neonatal Intensive care unit, days he should have been home with us. Today he is a beautiful five year old boy. He is also a little boy who five years later is still suffering with the effects of being born to soon took on his body.
He has cerebral palsy and is faced daily with the struggle to keep up with his peers. He receives speech, occupational therapy and physical therapy. He attends a special education class, although many days he cannot attend because his prematurity has left him with a weakened immune system and breathing difficulty. It is important to remember that these are not just little babies, they are babies with brains, lungs and crucial body parts that have not been given enough time to develop.
In 2007 my second son was born. After a difficult pregnancy my wife was lucky enough to carry Griffin to 34 weeks. We thought we were in the clear. Shortly after Grffin was born we were faced with the reality that 34 weeks is still premature. When he was born his heart was not beating and he was not breathing. We once again had to walk though the familiar doors of the nicu. I believe it was at this point that my wife and I realized this was not a path that any parent should have to take. We are walking the same road with therapy for Griffin that we did for Mac. Yes that walk is a little smoother, he got many weeks that Mac did not. But he did not get nine months, what every baby deserves. My wife and I have made it our mission to do what we can to make sure that every baby can get these nine months.
Prematurity and birth defects can happen to anyone. If we all do a little,maybe someday every parent can bring home a healthy happy baby.