I have not posted in a long time. There are various reasons for that, most of which I will eventually blog about but mainly fall under my being very busy with work, dealing with my health issues, having family visit, and just life in general. I've tried to keep in touch a bit, through twitter, blog comments, e-mail and skype. I thank everyone who has cared about how I am doing and especially those who have checked up on me to make sure I am ok, I am (mostly) and I will be fine. I have not forgotten about you all nor this blog, I have many plans for it, unfortunately more plans than I have time at the moment but I will eventually get this blog back up off the ground. In the mean time you can browse my archives, I have a few decent posts mixed in there, if you haven't already and want a Microblogologist fix ;).
All that aside the true purpose of this post is to pay tribute to one very special little girl, Madeline Alice Spohr. This is a little girl who was born prematurely on 11/11/2007 (11 weeks and 1 day early), she passed away on 4/7/2009. In her short time on this planet she has touched a lot of people, in her death she has touched even more, both in person and on the internet. People from around the world have heard about this beautiful child who was taken from her family way too soon and in the week since she has passed away have donated thousands of dollars to her March of Dimes team. That money will go towards helping families with sick babies and towards research that will help prevent prematurity and find treatments for those babies who are born premature or with other conditions.
The March of Dimes was founded in response to the polio epidemic that claimed many lives in the US and around the world, they proposed that everyone could spare a dime to help find a cure/vaccine, and one of the most successful and long-lived charities was born and as a result polio has been eradicated from the US and most of the world (it is still an issue in some third world countries due to lack or resources, education, and anti-western sentiments in certain populations). Their current focus is now primarily on prematurity, both its prevention and treatment and research funded by the March of Dimes has greatly improved the chances of babies born prematurely and made it possible to save babies born extremely premature (about 23 weeks is the current minimum gestational age that is potentially viable outside the womb) and they are working on treatments that will help spare these micropremies from the high chance of disabilities associated with being born so early.
Maddie's amniotic sac broke early, when her mother was about 19 weeks pregnant, this resulted in Maddie's lungs not being able to develop properly. During gestation the fetus "breathes" amniotic fluid which aids in lung development and maturation. Maddie fell ill with a respiratory infection and her fragile lungs just couldn't keep up. Today, the 14th of April, a mother will speak at her baby's funeral. They have asked that people wear purple to celebrate Maddie's life and that instead of buying flowers that people donate to the March of Dimes. I have included the badge for Maddie's March of Dimes page, their original goal was $3000, since news got out about Maddie's passing they have earned over $25,000 in donations. That is simply amazing. If you would like to donate to Maddie's team simply click on the badge below, maybe we can help prevent another mother from speaking at her baby's funeral, because no parent should have to go through the hell that Maddie's parents are going through and every baby deserves a chance to live. Thank you to all who donate and to Maddie's parents for sharing their precious daughter with the world and reminding us what is most important.
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