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Monday, May 11, 2009


Its rare that I write about anything that isn't theater related and when I do its because its something that means a lot to me personally or its something that has struck a chord with me.  

Typically, I'm not one to became that wrapped up in complete stragers lives,  but the story of Madeline Alice Spohr is one that I won't soon forget.  

I don't remember how I became acquainted with the Spohr family, but I found out that they had a little girl named Maddie who wasn't well.  When children suffer, it breaks my heart.  Having not known anything about Maddie, I began reading her journey through her mother's blog.  Though this little girl had gone through a tremendous amount in her 17 months of life,  I was struck by how happy and full of life she looked.  Maddie had this incredible smile that just lit up a room -- and this my room...via photos through my computer!  I had never seen any child with such expressive eyes and such an infectious smile!  I remember coming home after a long and frustrating day at work (feeling particularly annoyed) and while reading about Maddie, saw this:

Seriously?  Are you kidding me?  I couldn't help but to smile right back at the screen!  Seeing her bright, shining face made me feel better and put a smile on my own face.  The crazy thing is that I didn't know her or her family.  Somehow though, I was compelled to continue reading and check up on her and her family.  This little girl was born 11 weeks premature and initially, it wasn't clear if she was going to survive.  Yet she did, for 17 months.  I was really pulling for Maddie and I wanted to know she was able to come home and would be ok.  When I found out she had passed away, I was heartbroken for her and her entire family.  I can't even imagine how they feel, but the Spohrs are trying to focus their energies into something positive in honor of their baby.

Maddie's mom, Heather wrote about what she and her husband are doing to help others and   this is why the March of Dimes is important to their family.  Per a recent post from Heather about some of their efforts:

I have tried to do some good through all of this. Tried to find some purpose, something to occupy my days and help Maddie’s name live on. I want her to be associated with wonderful things, and not the terrible sadness of her passing.
Parents for Preemies is a grassroots fundraiser where local establishments sell paper “baby blocks” to raise much needed funds for the March of Dimes. You can help by supporting your local retail businesses and organizations when they ask for a contribution for the March of Dimes - they’ll take as little as a dollar. Or, if you are really super motivated, you can pitch the campaign to your local establishments!
Thinking of Heather on this Mother's Day and donating in honor of Maddie.  My heart goes out to you!
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