For those who may have missed it, the H2H3 fundraising pledge games begin today with the Red Wings visiting the Ottawa Senators.
As with the original H2H and H2H2, the pledge games are central to fundraising efforts in support of Childrens' Hospital of Michigan. The idea is simple: Pick virtually any quantifiable event that can happen over the next eleven games and pledge a dollar amount. If your event happens, you donate that amount to Childrens' Hospital of Michigan.
For example, I've got $11 pledged towards Daniel Alfredsson scoring a goal today. For each point he scores, I'm on the hook for $1.11. For each shot he takes against his former club, $0.11 (with the total rounded up to the next dollar just to make the accounting easier).
Earlier this week, J.J. from Kansas over at Winging it in Motown re-shared the story of his daughter's birth as an example of why these fundraisers are so important. Unfortunately, his story is not unique.
Meet Ellie. My daughter was born at 11:04 AM on April 27, the morning of the day that the Red Wings would round out the regular season with their fourth consecutive win and clinch a playoff berth. She wasn't supposed to be born until the day that ended up being Game Five of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Ellie is one of three babies born eight weeks early on that day alone in our hospital. They each had their own challenges as they spent roughly the first month of their lives in the NICU. PICC lines for intravenous feeding, later upgraded to a relatively standard feeding tube. A nasal cannula for when they had trouble breathing. A tanning bed (okay, phototherapy) for when the bilirubin levels got to be worrisome.
As a parent, eight weeks early is a terrifying number. Seeing your child in that situation is something I wouldn't wish on anyone. But to anyone who ends up there anyway I can confidently say that the professionals taking care of your child are some of the most amazing people on the planet.
While we spent four weeks camped out in the NICU we saw some incredible things. Our neighbor when we first got there had been born at 26 weeks and was going strong a couple weeks in. A child was delivered at 23 weeks, an event for which the staff was completely prepared.
What you support when you make your pledge is a facility that makes positive outcomes for these extraordinary events so possible. You support the doctors and nurses and specialists who see a 32-weeker as no big deal. You support the families who are terrified at being there eight weeks before they expected to be.
We were not at Childrens' Hospital of Michigan but it doesn't matter. Whatever the actual location, these are incredible places that deserve our recognition.
If you haven't already (or if you have and want to again), I ask you to, please, make a pledge. Any amount - it's more than they would see if you did nothing.
This now-seven-month-old thanks you.
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