BENEFITING: March of Dimes Foundation
EVENT DATE: Sep 18, 2014
It is with great pride and pleasure that Lincoln and our entire family were selected to serve as the March of Dimes Ambassador Family for the 2014 Cedar Rapids Signature Chefs Auction. This amazing event is a showcase for some of the finest chefs in the Cedar Rapids area, an unforgettable way to support the March of Dimes and a way to recognize Lincoln on his incredible journey.
Our family has a big goal this year to work with the March of Dimes to raise $50,000 for the evening through presenting our story during the Fund the Mission portion of the evening. All proceeds help fund the mission: to give all babies a healthy start to life. We would love to have you contribute towards this Fund the Mission goal. Your 100% tax deductible gift goes a long way toward helping tiny babies like Lincoln once was, and helping the March of Dimes meet their fundraising goals. Alongside our family, we want to make a difference to others – no parent should have to make the decisions we had to make or watch their child go through what Lincoln went through in our 98 day stay in the NICU.
Thank you, The Valenta Family
PREMATURITY FOREVER CHANGED OUR FAMILY:
On June 23, 2009 after experiencing contractions that could not be stopped, I received an amniocentesis and tested positive for chorioamnionitis. Lincolns only chance of survival was an immediate delivery and he would be critically ill. At just 26 weeks gestation, he was born weighing only 2 lbs and 10 ounces. It was the beginning of the dance known as the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) – one step forward and two steps back. During Lincoln’s stay he was treated for jaundice, sepsis, MRSA, meningitis, brain hemorrhages, retinopathy of prematurity and respiratory distress syndrome. He also received treatment for his heart PDA closure. Against all odds, Lincoln was discharged without an oxygen requirement but with a heart monitor.
Lincoln’s story of prematurity doesn’t end there. Since his initial discharge he has been re-hospitalized several times. He had surgery on this eyes at age two and was diagnosed last April with Spastic Displegia Cerebral Palsy. Up to four days a week he attends occupational, physical, feeding and eye therapies. He wears orthotics daily, and doesn’t let anything slow him down. We still don’t know the long term effects of his prematurity – we are learning every day. He has taught us so much, and we are determined to give him every opportunity to lead a “normal” life. Our family is in this together in the coming weeks, months and years. Lincoln’s prematurity will be a part of his life, and ours, forever.
Without countless prayers and support from those we know (and even some we don’t!), accompanied with medical advancements in premature birth afforded by funding through the March of Dimes, Lincoln’s story would have had a very different and potentially tragic ending. We know and count daily the blessings that we have.
We appreciate your consideration of this important cause that is now so near and dear to our hearts. Together with the March of Dimes, we look forward to a day when every baby is born healthy. Thank you so much!
The Valenta Family – Zak, Mégan, Alexaundra, Maddox and Lincoln