Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Remembering Maddie

I first heard about Madeline Spohr last April.

I wish I had heard of her sooner.

Maddie left this world on April 7, 2009.

From the little bit that I knew about the Spohr family, I knew I wanted to learn more. I started reading Maddie's mother, Heather's, blog and her father, Mike's, blog...both from the very beginning.

Poor little Maddie had it tough from the start. Heather was only 29 weeks along when Maddie was born, and the little baby spent the first two months of her life in the NICU. She was poked and prodded with needles, underwent medical procedures, and had rock hard abs because she had to fight for every breath. But that little girl was tougher than most adults I know today. I know she was stronger than I am. She made it home from the hospital, and started a wonderful life with her parents.

Maddie had a few scares after that, and at one point had to be on oxygen at home. But she fought every battle she faced with a brave face and a smile, and always came out on top. I loved reading about her life and the funny stories that Heather and Mike would share. As I went through the blogs I found myself laughing and smiling thinking of Maddie. But as I neared April 2009, each laugh I had for her ended with sadness. I already knew how her story ended.

But the truth is, Maddie's story didn't end on April 7, 2009. She was only a year and a half old when she was taken, but she has inspired more people in her little life than most people could hope to in 100 years. Maddie has thousands and thousands...possibly millions...of fans around the world. She has taught us all to be stronger, to be braver, to enjoy our loved ones just a little more. I mean if a tiny baby can go through so much pain and still smile at her nurses...I'm pretty sure that I can handle whatever life throws at me.

Though we would all give anything to have Maddie back, her little life has served to help so many other babies and their families. Thousands and thousands of people have marched and donated money to the March of Dimes in Maddie's name. She has given other babies a better chance at survival. Her parents have started a non-profit organization called Friends of Maddie, that helps parents who have babies in the NICU. Heather and Mike are just as amazing as Maddie; not many people are able to turn such horrible pain into something that can help others.

I know we all lead busy lives. I know you don't know the Spohrs. But please today, just take one moment to remember Maddie. We can all learn something from her.


Kristy @Loveandblasphemy said...

It is the hardest thing for anyone to endure. Watching their child go through anything medically difficult and then grieving their loss. I cannot imagine. Thank you for sharing.

JenJen said...

what a sweet pea. thank you for sharing.

feefifoto said...

Amazing how one life in one city can touch so many people around the world.

kathryn said...

Oh...sweet little baby girl. So sad...that stuff just tears my heart out.

Your post gave me goosebumps, sweetie.