Monday, May 23, 2016

March for Babies...

It wasn't long after Harper was born that I got a thank you card in the mail from a good friend of mine whose daughter has type 1 diabetes - he was thanking me for donating to their walk to raise awareness and money to find a cure for that terrible disease and at the end of the thank you note he wrote "let us know when it's time to raise money for the March of Dimes." While we had already met the March of Dimes rep in the NICU we had yet to really feel and experience all that they would do and continue to do for us through Harper's journey. So of course when it was time to start raising money for them - that's exactly what we did. 

Team Harper Gribbs had all kinds of support from friends, colleagues, old colleagues, friends of friends (some of whom I don't even know, wow!) and of course family. We raised over $5,000 and were one of the top family teams for the Northern VA march. It was quite overwhelming to see so many people taking an interest and lending their support. 

We felt first hand the great work that this organization does and we know Harper is healthy and thriving in part because of the research they have supported. We also can never forget the ways in which they supported us as a family during Harper’s 60 day stay in the NICU. Everything from goodie bags to a recordable story book that Adam could read and record so Harper could hear his brother’s voice before he was able to visit and even a baby shower that they threw for other moms and me which was a fun and necessary distraction from the reality we were all facing. Being able to begin to give back is such a privilege and I'll look forward to continuing to support this group for years to come. 

We were lucky to have the Harpers come up from Myrtle Beach for the weekend. We also had friends and family all set to march with us as well. We even got Team Harper Gribbs shirts made thanks to a colleague's wife who donated them to us. 

Sadly the day of the march the weather was pretty crummy. Lots and lots of rain was falling but that didn't stop (some of) us from still marching. They shortened the walk as a result of the bad weather, which was good news for Adam who wasn't exactly looking forward to the 4 miles it was originally going to be. They still had a big gathering of folks before the march and we happily saw some of the doctors and nurses that took such good care of Harper - including nurse Jenny, one of our favorites from Fairfax and Dr. Baker - our hero at Fairfax who was so kind and reassuring, spending quiet time with us answering questions we hadn't even asked yet he knew we were looking for the answers anyhow and Dr. Silk who was the first neonatologist we met when we got word that we would be delivering Harper - he was also Harper's main doctor at Fair Oaks. 

After the march we dried off and headed home for a little celebration we hosted in honor of our super hero - Harper. We felt this was a great opportunity to say Thank You to those who supported us through these past 8 months - and really, a good excuse to buy a big yummy cake from Wegmans! I put up a photo collage of Harper's journey and some of the art work that Adam had made for him that used to hang on the walls in the NICU. I've yet to take it down.

Even with the rain this weekend was one of the brightest we've had since Harper was born - surrounded by friends and family celebrating life and most of all, celebrating a little boy who brings big smiles and light to everyone he meets. 

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