BENEFITING: March of Dimes Foundation
ORGANIZER: March of Dimes Iowa
EVENT DATE: Sep 15, 2016
March of Dimes Iowa wrote -
It is with great pride that I am serving as Chairman of the 2016 Cedar Rapids Signature Chefs Auction to benefit March of Dimes. This wonderful event is a showcase for some of the finest chefs in the Cedar Rapids area, and is a fun and unforgettable way to support the March of Dimes and their mission to give all babies a healthy start. Personally and professionally, I support the March of Dimes and in honor of my Chairmanship I will complete a solo Ironman Triathlon to raise awareness and funds for my wife, my daughter and countless others who have dealt with the struggles of prematurity.
This is my story into the March for Dimes family. ~Dr. Chris Tyler
When my wife Charity was pregnant with our first child, we weren’t expecting anything out of the ordinary. She was healthy, taking great care of herself, and we were over the moon to be first time parents- eagerly looking forward to becoming a family of 3. Everything was progressing normally until week 33. Charity began to feel 'off' that week and chalked it up to the late pregnancy expectations that friends and family had felt before. Thankfully, she had a regular check the following week with our OB, who questioned whether or not she felt okay. As a precaution he put her on bed rest and ordered a blood test, the results of which would be known the following day.
The next day I was pulled from a continuing education conference 30 miles away by my wife calling to tell me one of our friends was taking her to the hospital to meet our OB and take the baby. HELLP Syndrome, I was told. Taking the baby early was the only cure, I think I heard. My mind racing, I hit the road and made more than good time to the hospital to find my wife hooked up to monitors, one-on-one nursing on hand, and the whirlwind of the next 72 hours began.
What Charity and I didn't realize at the time was how dire the situation was and what could have happened as a result of her condition. They call HELLP “the silent killer”, as its symptoms often go unnoticed. She was at high risk for stroke and potential organ failure, and for whatever reasons, taking our Calli early would save both her and my wife from harm or worse. Happily, our OB caught what could have been tragic and turned it into something magical. My lovely, feisty, red-headed Callista came into this world the morning of on May 1st, 2010, one of the best and scariest 24 hours of my life. It was a premature yet healthy birth, and after the dust settled my wife pulled through as well. We spent 11 days in the NICU with Calli as she grew stronger and learned to eat and breathe unassisted. This began our venture into the world of prematurity, and eventually to the March of Dimes.
I always knew the mission of the March of Dimes, but it never touched me until the day of her birth. Ever since, Calli and the rest of our family and friends have been supporters of their cause, which has become near and dear to our hearts. We have attended their fundraising events every year and rarely leave with dry eyes. It is easy to become attached to this organization when you hear and see the stories first-hand, let alone experience it for yourself. I shudder to think that I could have quickly lost Charity and Callista during such a momentous time in our lives.
We have the March of Dimes to thank for playing a part in the lives of all three of our children– Callista, and her healthy, full-term siblings Samantha and Jonathan. We are grateful for all their work. Together, we will ensure every baby (and mother) has a healthy start.
~Chris, Charity, Callista, Samantha and Jonathan Tyler