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Marching for Maddie on April 25

Marching for Maddie on April 25This is a tribute to Madeline “Maddie” Alice Spohr, a little girl, who despite having been born prematurely at 29 weeks of gestation (11 weeks and 1 day early), was able to hold on to life for a few months and give her parents joy and love.

This is a tribute to Heather, mommy blogger who fought for her child’s life all the way, and documented in her blog her struggle through pregnancy, premature delivery, Maddie’s stay at NICU, and taking care of a preemie, as well as Maddie’s triumphs and progress.

This is a tribute to the Internet which makes contact between moms thousands of miles apart. Which through blogs, twitters, and what else, helps moms express their feelings, concerns, and frustrations. And through which moms help fellow moms in times of need, be it in real or virtual space.

This is a tribute to the March of Dimes, a not-for-profit organization that focuses on improving the health of premature babies.

Maddie was rushed to the hospital on April 6 due to breathing problems. Through her friend Meghan, Heather was able to send a quick update to her blog. On April 7, again through Meghan, Maddie’s parents Heather and Mike sadly announced that their little daughter has passed away. She was 17 months old.

Heather’s site couldn’t handle the overwhelmingly large number of visitors who clicked in to express their love and sympathies. With the help of two other mommy bloggers, the site was relocated to another provider without major problems.

Heather and Mike have requested that in lieu of flowers for Maddie, a donation be made for the benefit of March of Dimes, Madie’s favorite charity.

Heather formed a walking team for this coming April 25 March for Babies before Maddie’s death. The team called March for Maddie 2, was to be led by Heather to support the cause of March of Dimes and the goal that “one day, every baby will be born healthy.” Maddie’s story touched the hearts of many across the US. Instead of one team, there will be several countrywide March for Maddie events. Again the events and the March for Maddie website have been initiated by mommies all over. As of writing, Maddie has raised over $25,000 for March of Dimes, way over the team’s initial goal of $3,000. This coming April 25, let’s all pay our tribute to Maddie, to Heather, and to March of Dimes. Let’s all pay tribute to the Internet, the technology that binds us all together. I’m thousands of miles away in another continent and can’t march with you but I’ll be sure to remember, cheer you on, and send you my virtual support on April 25.

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