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 — with my Dad — and I am so thankful for such a successful organization for fellow Preemies out there.
As most of you know, I’m a preemie success story 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 a fellow Preemie friend!) 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 the event my Dad was totally into the idea and wanted to join me — 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 other larger events I have participated in on the mainland — and rightfully so as our entire island population is probably 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 ‘Ōhana (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… You can learn about their story 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 embarrassed. 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:)