Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Cause for the Little Ones

February 23, 2008, doctors at Rush Copley Hospital in Aurora, Illinois, delivered Nicolas Bryant Noblitt at 26 weeks gestation. In case you “don’t know nothing about birthin’ babies,” that’s way too early.

Baby Nico spent 101 days in the neonatal intensive care unit, best called NICU by those families all too familiar with NICU alarms, monitors, endless tests, teams of medical professionals, and constant worry about what comes next.

On the cusp of summer, Nic came home that sunny June day with machines, monitors, and tubes and wires. Not exactly the vision most new parents have for their baby’s homecoming. Books like “What to Expect When You Are Expecting” and its cousins can hardly prepare new moms and dads for the exhausting and anxious ride they are in for when their baby is born prematurely.

So worried and hungry for more information shortly after Nic’s birth, I turned to the March of Dimes Web site to learn more about what this little guy could face. It delivered (pardon the pun).

The March of Dimes is a charitable organization I supported long before baby Nic came into this world. As a schoolgirl in the late 50s and early 60s, I remember the March of Dimes coin cards handed out to raise money. Think about it, this campaign worked! When President FDR founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, that was the goal—find a cure. Dr. Jonas Salk’s vaccine against polio did just that. Dr. Albert Sabin’s oral vaccine brought even easier access to protection. Little pink sugar cubes dosed the vaccine to millions worldwide.

With the success of the vaccine for polio behind it, the March of Dimes shifted its focus to preventing premature births and fostering research into helping those little ones born too soon have a shot at a good life. And today, they fund research that gave Nic and his NICU buddies a chance. Yes, I know the organization needs to work on fiscal responsibility, and since I work for a 4-Star Charity Navigator nonprofit, the fact that March of Dimes is not there yet bothers me a bit. However, they have my support.

If you happen to be in northern Illinois on Sunday, April 26 at 8:00 a.m., join Team Nic at Pottawatomie Park, 8 North Avenue in Saint Charles. And if you can’t make it, follow the link and help Natalie reach her goal.

And visit Nic on ciao-nico. He is surely one cute guy.


Sarge Charlie said...

you have a good heart miss shelia

Marion said...

Sheila, he's an amazing grandson! When I think of his beginning, and then I see him swimming and enjoying babyhood fun...I am in awe of how far we've come. I lost three preemies, when I was young, just because the medical community did not yet have the ability to bring them over the hump. I'm so glad it has evolved...I still mourn my babies who didn't make it.

I think he has the looks of his grandma!

Sheila said...

Hey Sarge,
I hope I do. I try anyway. It is also pretty darned soft, which can be a drawback at times.

I can't imagine the sadness from losing three little ones and then your daughter later.

Nic has a lot going for him--the best mom and dad around. I still tear up thinking about what they and he went through.

Marshamlow said...

I used to walk in the March of Dimes every year when I was in high school. I can remember my mom doing it when I was young. Have fun!

We have been working closely with the American Cancer Society here for the Relay for life. This is my only opportunity to work for a non-for-profit. It is an interesting experience.

Sheila said...

Thanks Marsha. I never relied on the American Cancer Society when I was ill except to consult their Web site for information. They have built up an effective network of volunteers and sponsors. Good luck with helping.

Palm Springs Savant said...

good luck Sheila. I went and made a small donation.


Anonymous said...


Sheila said...

Hi Rick,
Thanks again for the donation.