Dear Jake & Josh fans,
The days of shuttling from doctors appointments to therapy sessions are long gone. Now, our little miracle men keep us busy going from the usual activities for 5-year-olds – plus the privilege of sharing our story on behalf of the March of Dimes.
Yes, it’s that time of year again, when we get you caught up on the saga of Jake & Josh and ask you to support our Aron Family Team in the March for Babies, the event formerly known as WalkAmerica.
The quickest way to join our 2008 Team as a donor, walker or both, is to visit www.marchforbabies.com/aronfamily. But first we'd like to share an update on Jake & Josh, and big brother Zac. (We've got a new picture, too, at the end of this e-mail.)
You may recall that Jake & Josh cleared a major hurdle prior to last year's Walk with the removal of their feeding tubes. Well, the very last obstacle was cleared July 18, when Jake was discharged from occupational therapy.
That’s a point worth savoring.
Jake and Josh arrived in May 2002, 17 weeks before their due date. They were the size of Beanie Babies – so small, so premature, there was fear their brains, lungs, eyes and ears may never develop, or not develop properly. Several surgeries and seven months later, both boys came home, both with feeding tubes, Josh also attached to an oxygen tank.
But look at them now. A few months shy of their 6th birthday, the boys are healthy as can be and thriving in ways kids their age should.
They love sports and video games and are developing their own specialties. Josh is quite the artist and a great reader. Jake is a budding musician; just ask him. Better yet, visit our Web site www.jakeandjosh.net to see his rendition of “God Bless America,” a kid’s tune called “Doggy Walk,” and his latest act, “Boots Are Made For Walkin’.”
Zac – a month-early preemie, he turns 10 on Sunday – continues to be a terrific big brother. He understood the extra attention the boys required in their early years and he’s proud of the fuss that’s made over them now. Further evidence can be found on our Web site in a story he wrote and illustrated for a recent class project.
Why were we so fortunate when others with preemies weren’t? We’ll never know. But there is something we can do: Work with the March of Dimes to help other families have happy endings like ours.
Since 2005, when we realized how integral the March of Dimes was in our success story, we’ve become more and more involved. Since our last mass e-mail, we have …
- Finished our year as the local Ambassador Family, sharing our story to groups ranging from 8 to 800.
- Helped run a seminar on how to tell your family’s story at a national convention of volunteers.
- Lobbied legislators at the state capital and the nation’s capital.
- Targeted the NICU as a prime place for families to connect with the March of Dimes. This started as our idea then was brought to life by the brilliant folks at the Richards Group, the company behind the Chick-Fil-A cows and other advertising icons. Posters, brochures and business cards are in 19 NICUs in Texas and will soon be in Florida, too. It also may blossom into a national campaign. Images of the ads are on our Web site.
In 2008, our big commitment is chairing the first-ever State Family Teams Committee. That means we’re overseeing the local committees at all 28 WalkAmerica – er, March for Babies – events in Texas. (The new name is part of a rebranding identifying the March of Dimes as the champion for babies.)
OK, now the scoop on our Aron Family Team.
Thanks to the amazing support of friends and family, we have raised $22,331 over the last three years. In 2007, donors from 14 states – plus another all the way in Australia! – helped us collect $7,679, third-most among Family Teams in Dallas.
Donations are great, but walkers are important, too. So no matter whether you walk, donate or both, there’s a spot waiting for you on our team.
The event is Saturday, April 19, at 9 a.m. at White Rock Lake.
Anything you can do to help will be greatly appreciated. The easiest way to donate or sign up is to visit www.marchforbabies.com/aronfamily.
We also hope you click over to see all the stuff on our Web site, www.jakeandjosh.net. (Yes, dot-net; we still can’t get dot-com.)
Remember, “March of Dimes is the champion for babies,” so let’s all be part of the winning team.
Lori, Jaime, Zac, Jake & Josh
P.S. – A comforting thought about the money raised by the March of Dimes: Not only does the organization spend big bucks trying to solve mysteries such as why Lori went into early labor with Zac and Jake & Josh, it also hires terrific sleuths. Last year’s trio of Nobel Prize winners in medicine are former March of Dimes researchers, as were the 2002 winners.