My dearest daughter

It’s time for the 2013 March for Babies, the March of Dimes’ biggest fundraiser. There are walks in cities all over the nation. On April 27th we Spohrs will be marching for Maddie for the sixth year in a row. By participating, we are helping 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 36+ weeks thanks in large part to medical advances championed by the March of Dimes. Hopefully, her little brother will make it at least that far.

For the last four years, we have been not only one of the largest family teams in Los Angeles, but also one of the most successful fundraising teams in the nation. It’s an honor that all of you help make possible every year. 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 in the days leading up to the seventh, 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 four 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 Maddie passed completely blew my family away, and made sure that millions of people, including lawmakers, know the name Madeline 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. Donations can be made 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! We are also selling Marching For Maddie Shirts again this year. Shirt sales are open to everyone, and all proceeds are going towards Team March for Maddie (we also sell Friends of Maddie shirts). If you want to wear a shirt at your walk this year, be sure to order them ASAP!

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, please leave a comment below with your team’s information. 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.