Dear Jake & Josh fans,
Well, it’s that time of year again – we’re kicking off our third annual Aron Family Team for the March of Dimes’ WalkAmerica and we’re hoping you will be part of it, either by walking with us, through a donation … or both!
A lot has happened since we naively began this venture two years ago. First, let’s start with the best part – an update on Jake & Josh.
Born 17 weeks early, weighing only 18 ounces each, our miracle men turn 5 years old on May 11, and by then should have cleared every hurdle on their amazing journey. All that’s left is removing their feeding tubes – which they haven’t used since October anyway.
This truly is a question of when, not if. Doctors recommended keeping the tubes through flu & cold season, just in case weight loss and/or medicating them became an issue. The only issue we’ve had so far was a kid at school pulling out Josh’s tube – and him not telling anyone in time for it to be immediately replaced. By the time we discovered it, his hole had closed so much that we had to go to the ER to get the tube put back in.
So, “when” will the feeding tubes come out for good? Our goal is before April 21, the date of this year’s WalkAmerica in Dallas.
We created the Aron Family Team for the 2005 WalkAmerica and raised $4,723, the most among all family teams in Dallas and Fort Worth. That led to us becoming co-chairmen of the local Family Teams Committee for ’06. The totals for all family teams surged in ’06 and we’re proud to say ours did, too. Thanks to donations from folks in 14 states -- plus another all the way in Australia! – we hauled in $9,929, more than doubling our 2005 total and retaining our local No. 1 status.
Our goal for this year is $10,000 – but that’s not all. We also have a role in helping the local chapter work toward its goal of raising $3 million, up from the $2.8 million raised last year.
That new role: The local Ambassador Family, which basically is the politically correct term for “Poster Child.”
Whatever the phrase, Jake & Josh truly exemplify the March of Dimes’ mission to “save babies.”
With both pride and sorrow, we note that we’ve still never heard of another baby born both as small and as early as either of our kids. So for us to have 2 boys who've overcome such odds … well, it helps you understand why we’re so committed to the organization that’s leading the way in all things related to prematurity (research, awareness, prevention, etc.).
We’ve already shared our story with more than 2,000 people through various functions, plus more through a television appearance we did prior to last year’s Walk. We have more speaking engagements planned and we’ll be in Austin next month for meetings with state legislators. In fact, Jake & Josh’s initial feetprints – which are small enough to fit on a business card – are being used in the printed materials for “Lobby Day.” (A version of our card is attached below)
There’s one more important aspect of all this we want to mention: Jake & Josh’s big brother, Zac, himself a 36-weeker. He turns 9 on Saturday and continues to be a wonderful example for his little brothers, whether it’s reading to them or wrestling with them.
To help steer you toward more information about any and all of what’s mentioned above, here are some links:
- The home page of our new Web site: www.jakeandjosh.net (yes, it is “.net” – the dot-com version already was taken)
This also has several links to our WalkAmerica page.
Also within our site, you can find out more about …
- Jake and Josh’s story
- Our March of Dimes work, including our year as the Ambassador Family and details of the last two WalkAmericas (2006, 2005)
You can also see some video clips and photos
One last word about this year’s Walk.
Whether you donate or not, we’d love for you to join us at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 21, at Norbuck Park for a 5-mile walk around White Rock Lake. Bring your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers – anyone and everyone. Feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone who might be interested, too!
Like the March of Dimes campaign materials say, let’s “save babies, together.”
Lori, Jaime, Zac, Jake & Josh