Dear Jake & Josh fans,
A neat thing happened a few weeks ago: At our twice-a-year visit to the endocrinologist, she bid Jake farewell as a patient. And with that, he’s done – no specialists to see, no medicines to take … nada. Josh still visits a pulmonologist and has a few meds, but that’s it.
How’s that for a good start to our annual update and March for Babies campaign kickoff e-mail?
(Quick links now; details later – www.marchforbabies.org/aronfamily.)
We last used this distribution list in June, to spread the word about our AP wire story. The response from newspaper and Internet readers was overwhelming. The notes from strangers were so incredible that we printed them all up and filled a 2-inch thick binder that we proudly keep on our coffee table. The book is divided into three sections – “Tearjerkers and other favorites;” “Other NICU stories;” and “Just nice stuff.” We keep a box of tissues nearby, too.
A pleasant surprise was how many e-mails came from people whose stories did not have a happy ending like ours. These deep-hearted folks appreciated knowing that others managed to avoid the pain they felt ... and were still feeling, as in the case of one man who was supposed to be spending his first Father's Day as a dad, but instead was spending the day mourning the loss of his daughter. He wrote:
“I guess I just wanted to say … your story really touched me and helped me to remember everything happens for a reason, and miracles happen every day. So thank you very much. It has been a hard weekend for me and this news of happiness has really made today a better day for me.”
Among the first e-mails was from a rabbi in Wisconsin whose twin sons were born 10 weeks premature.
“I had the same conversation with God as did you,” he wrote.
His children were among the first 10 kids in the country to receive artificial surfactant, a chemical that works like a grease to help lungs open and close. Many preemies are born before they develop the natural version, and in the 1980s scientists discovered a man-made version. This wonder drug has revolutionized neonatology, and it worked out pretty well for our e-mailer’s family, too.
“My sons are, Thank God, well and graduated High School this past month.”
Our boys are in Kindergarten, and loving it. They also are taking a martial arts class, playing soccer (Josh scored one of the team’s few goals in the fall!) and have recently started a theater class. Their proud big brother is in 4th grade and getting ready for his first season of baseball in which the kids do the pitching; he’s hoping to pitch, too.
At home, Josh can be found drawing or playing Wii with Zac. Jake is more likely to be off strumming his guitar, singing songs he makes up or learning whatever is on Radio Disney. Jake’s latest hit is singing “Blue Suede Shoes,” then responding to applause with an Elvis-esque, “Thank you … thankyouverymuch.” You can link to videos of his act from our Web site, www.jakeandjosh.net.
Jake just booked his latest gig, too. Without revealing too many details, let’s just say it will occur Saturday, April 18, around 9 a.m., at White Rock Lake , just before the start of our March for Babies walk.
If you’ve walked with us before, then we hope you can join us again. If you haven’t walked, we’d love to have you join us this time. Last year, our Aron Family Team was about 50 walkers strong.
Of course, we also are asking for donations to support the March of Dimes. The easiest way is through our March for Babies Web site, www.marchforbabies.org/aronfamily.
We raised $9,072 last year thanks to donors from 12 states, plus our loyal friend Down Under in Australia . We had the fifth-highest total among Family Teams in Dallas.
This year, we realize there couldn’t be a tougher time to ask for money. However, as you consider our request, also consider …
A $15 donation is the same as skipping a few trips to Starbucks (fewer calories, too!)
A $25 donation is about the difference between a tank of gas now and a few months ago
A $50 donation is about how much you’d spend on a trip to the movies
Here’s something else to remember, something we’ve gotten a better grip on the more involved we’ve become in the March of Dimes – it’s not just about preemies.
If you’ve had a perfectly healthy pregnancy and birth, the March of Dimes played a role in that, too. The sentiment is summed up nicely in this message we saw on a T-shirt:
“Have a baby? Know a baby? Been a baby? Then YOU have been touched by the March of Dimes”
This is our fifth year walking to “save babies,” and our commitment to this wonderful organization continues to grow. We can’t thank you enough for your support in the past and we appreciate anything you can do to help this year.
Jake, Josh, Zac, Lori & Jaime