My dearest daughter

It’s time for the 2011 March for Babies, the March of Dimes’ biggest fundraiser. There are walks in cities all over the nation. We Spohrs are ready to walk for Maddie for the fourth year in a row. By participating, we are helping The March of Dimes champion the needs of families and babies in our community and across the nation. The money we raise for March for Babies will support lifesaving research, services, education and advocacy that help babies get a healthy start – babies like Madeline’s sister Annabel, who made it to full term thanks in large part to medical advances championed by the March of Dimes.

Last year we were YET AGAIN the biggest family team in Los Angeles, and one of the top family teams in the country. Two years in a row! Woo hoo! Madeline would be so proud. Our team goal is $20,000 – no small feat – but we want to continue our streak as the biggest team in Los Angeles. Beyond LA, we’re hoping that everyone who has walked in Maddie’s name in year’s past will walk again. And to everyone who hasn’t walked yet, we hope this will be the year you join, or even start, a team.

Joining a team means more to my family than any of you may realize. April is hard and emotional, and after the sadness we feel at the beginning of the month, knowing that we will see (either in person or via photos and emails) so many people supporting and remembering Maddie…honestly it’s a light that leads us through.

In the last three years, literally thousands of people opened their hearts and wallets and donated to the March of Dimes in honor of my beautiful daughter, Madeline. The donations that came in after Madeline passed completely blew my family away, and made sure that millions of people, including lawmakers, know the name Maddie Spohr. As a parent, I am proud and humbled.

I only ask for donations for the two most important causes in my life – The March of Dimes and the charity we started in Maddie’s name, Friends of Maddie, which strives to help parents with children in NICUs across the country. This year, I am asking you to consider two options for donating.

The first is the most obvious – donating directly to the March of Dimes through my link here. Every little bit helps, even if it’s only a quarter! In 2009, 90% of the donations our team received were for $10 or less – and we were the top family team in the nation!

The second is a new fundraiser we’re running this year – March for Maddie shirts! Shirts can be purchased here:

Shirt sales are open to everyone (worldwide!), and all proceeds are going towards Team March for Maddie and Friends of Maddie. If you want to wear a shirt at your walk this year, be sure to order them ASAP (no later than noon on April 15)!

If you’re in Los Angeles, we would be honored if you would march with us. You can sign up HERE to join the original March For Maddie team. If you are elsewhere in the country and have started a team, there is a linky widget at the bottom of this post to list your team so others near you can join. Not a team in your area? Start one! Or, if there isn’t a walk near you, join our team as a marcher in spirit.

Thank you again for everything you have done for my family, and in turn, thousands of other families. We miss Madeline so much, but knowing that there are people all over the world that have been touched by her is indescribable. We are all doing amazing things in her memory.

If you have any questions, PLEASE don’t hesitate to email me at thespohrs at gmail dot com.

Marching for Maddie? Please leave your city and team name, along with a link to your team, in the linky widget below.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.