Greta (my coworker) asked if Dan, Maddie and I would be interested in being a Miracle Family with DM at UNI. I told her sure while not really knowing what that meant. I am so glad that I said yes to this experience. DM raises money for the University of Iowa Children's Hospital throughout the year with events and then in March is THE BIG EVENT. Hundreds of college students show up to dance, spend time with the miracle kiddos and their families, and raise money FTK (For The Kids). After last year's event, I felt really guilty because we are through the worst of it. Maddie has recovered from her surgeries, she is seeing GI once a year now, and some of the Miracle Kids are still facing chemotherapy, more surgeries and for some of them, they won't make it to adulthood.
Today I read a blog entry from Greta that talked about how the DM team is wearing hospital bracelets from now until the Big Event in March. I cried. A lot. And then it occurred to me. Everyone's story at DM is different. And every case of NEC is different. For those who have never done the research on NEC that I have here are some facts:
- 10% of infants weighing less than 1500g will get NEC.
- Mortality rates are 50% or more depending on severity.
If my math comes out right, that is about 5,000 babies a year who will be diagnosed with NEC. And I have talked to so many moms who have lost their babies over the last three years.
We do DM because of those families. Those babies who won't get the chance to dance. And this is part of the important work that Dance Marathon is doing in children's hospitals across the United States. If you would like to read more about Dance Marathon, I invite you to visit their website here. If you would like to donate to Dance Marathon, please visit here.