March For Babies 2011

Saturday, April 16th, 2011, marked the 41st Annual March For Babies event held in Kahului on the beautiful Island of Maui. I was fortunate to be part of this event for the very first time, and I am so thankful for such a successful organization; March of Dimes.

I am a preemie success story (I was born at 27 weeks weighing 2lbs 7oz; 16in) and this organization, the volunteers involved, and the people who donate give opportunity for future preemie success stories--which is the best gift any parent can hope for when experiencing a high-risk pregnancy.

It was actually a last minute decision for me to walk (I was inspired by @Cait86) and prepared to go by myself as it seemed everyone else had prior commitments. I was okay with it, I can be stubborn like that. However, the night before over conversation, my Dad was totally into it, and I was excited to walk with him. He did after all experience my miracle birth first hand, why wouldn't he walk, right?!

We live on the other side of the Island from where the event was held, so we rose with the sun and left our house around 6AM to get to the event just after 7AM. I registered, dropped off my sponsor form(s), and we mingled.

It was a small event compared to the larger ones I have been part of on the mainland--and rightfully so. Our entire Island population is around some of the total participants in Marathons, so it was nice and quaint for a change; very personal, and on a first name basis. I loved it.

I introduced myself to Lauren Wilson; her and her Ohana (family) is the 2011, Ambassador Family for March of Dimes, and walk in honor of their daughter Akeelah Nadia. They walk in the hopes that no parent will ever have to walk in their shoes... Please take a moment to watch their video:

You can donate to their March For Babies Team here.

The two mile walk was a perfect way to begin our Saturday, the weather was a brisk 73 degrees, clear skies aside from a few scattered white puffy clouds, and lots of positive energy all around us. Our walk was from the War Memorial Gym to Keopuolani Park and back, which took us about 30 minutes.

When we returned to the event grounds I went straight to the bathroom because I stepped in dog poo during our walk (at first it was funny, but then.. not so much). I found my Dad getting his Blood Pressure measured and somehow I was peer pressured to have mine. I really dislike any and all things medical..maybe it has to do with being in the hospital for 4 weeks after I was born? Dad was super eager to see "Healthy Jenn's" BP though, so I humored him! I gave the intern my left arm and after many puff's and a now tingly arm, we learn the darn portable machine is broken. Awesome. That's why God gave us two arms, right? The good sport that I am, although now thinking "It's a sign!" I give the intern my other arm and she wraps me up in a different portable BP tester... We were all surprised to learn my BP was a tad high.. My new friend was convinced there was an error and said "But you look so athletic!" Thanks. I'll definitely be stepping up my health reform. Perhaps this last year was harder on my body than I realize..

Once everyone began trickling back from the walk, stories were shared, and all preemies were called to the stage. My Dad wanted me to go up, but I was too shame. Maybe next year. ha! Group photos were taken, and then we were blessed with some amazing live entertainment.

I know this video is lengthy, but can you believe how amazingly talented these kids are?! At such young ages, too! This completely blew my mind and my Dad and I stood there in amazement. It was great! I love how we bring culture into everything we do here in Hawai'i Nei.

Soon after that a raffle was held, and I won!! Lots of people won, actually, but I was one of those people! I honestly never win anything, so that was pretty cool:)

Dad and I left and had a maaaahvalous brunch and enjoyed the rest of our Daddy-Daughter day. It was such a special day, and I was very fortunate to get to spend it with My Dad:)

Did you or are you participating in March For Babies this month?
How was your weekend? Did you do anything special or for a greater cause? 

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6 love notes:

Suz and Allan said... [Reply]

Sounds like such a great event. I hope our event in Birmingham on April 30 is as much fun as this was for you!

caitlin said... [Reply]

lkajsdljdfsjf ahhh my preemie friend i LOVE this! how fabulous for you to do the walk! and you SHOULD have gone up on the stage you FIGHTING warrior! No worries- I understand though ;) so so so so proud of you! so excited to hear about your story and post to all my fabulous friends how awesome you are! xo have a great wed pretty girl!

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said... [Reply]

What a wonderful event!
On a side note, my BP was tested at the doctor's and was quite high recently. I'm only 23. Don't drink, smoke, eat red meat, I exercise lots...etc. I was really confused/surprised. She humored me at the end of the physical by doing it again--and it was normal (even low). She said a lot of people get anxious taking it in front of people and it's a false high number! Maybe try again at a pharmacy alone and see if it's any lower. :)

Alissa @ Still Unwritten said... [Reply]

I never really knew what March for Dimes was. Thanks for sharing! I am glad you got to walk with your dad, it must have been special for him to share it with you - his very own pre-mie!

Lauren said... [Reply]


So neat to have found your site! It was great meeting you and I've been meaning to call for the longest!

I'll be in touch!
Lauren (Akeelah's Mommy! :) )

Jennʻs Adventureʻs said... [Reply]

Lauren I'm so happy you stumbled across my blog--how fascinatingly wonderful! I almost fell out of my seat when I saw your comment come through on my email! =)

It was such a pleasure meeting you and your family--let's definitely keep in touch, ok?

Warmest Aloha,

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This place is all about Jennʻs Adventures: a Maui Girl who has evolved in to the modern day female nomad! Departing from her home in 2005 until the beginning of 2011, only the leave again less than a year later. Follow Jenn's Adventures in life, healthy living, travel, and love. To learn even more about Jennʻs Adventures, read this! Thanks for stopping by, please stay awhile & say ALOHA!

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