For the First Time

Do you ever wonder about your baby and when he or she will be born? Do you think about that special moment when you get to hold the baby for the very first time?  It is the most amazing feeling.  The smell of a new baby, the cuddles, the smiles when they are sleeping, the coos and of course there are those cries of hunger pains, wet diaper, gas or just hold me.  But oh such wonderful feelings.  As I looked around this weekend while I was out with my family at an October festival at all the new babies and their mommies, I started to remember back to when I had my son Kaleb.

I longed for the day that I could hold him and see him smile, coo and yes even cry for something that he needed and Mommy could supply.  That day came when I had Kaleb, except he was born unexpectedly, 13 weeks early.  He was taken from me and I never saw him until 2 days after he was born.  We were both in critical condition.  I mustered the strength amongst a painful vertical c-section, heavy pain medications, and uncertainty of life, to get to the NICU where my son lay in an isolette connected to what seemed like hundreds of wires.  What was happening I thought to myself.  I wanted to hold my baby, but he was much too fragile to do that.  I cried for hours as my husband comforted me and let me know that he will be okay, we just had to have faith and pray.


Day after day, we made the journey to the NICU, even after I had gone home without my baby to see him fighting for his life.  One day, as I arrived, the nurse said to me, “are you ready to hold your baby?” I looked at her puzzled wondering if I heard her correctly.  She started to explain to me about something called Kangaroo therapy. She explained how the heartbeat, breath sounds and warmth of a mother, will help the baby feel like he is still in the womb hearing those comforting sounds and it helps them recover so much quicker.  I was excited but wondered how that would work.


It took three staff to get this done, 2 nurses and a respiratory therapist.  The nurse was quite funny and asked me to go to the rest room first because once I started I was going to be there for as long as the baby would tolerate it.  The whole process took about 15 minutes to get the wires taped, the baby settled and off he went inside my button down shirt on my chest.  In an instant the nurse pointed to his monitor and how his blood pressure and heart rate stabilized.  His breathing was not so labored.  He stayed with me 45 minutes, they were so impressed.  I had finally held my son, wires and all.


10-24-09-1st-time-holding-kaleb first-family-shot-together-10-24-09

It was scary to hear all the beeping noises, but the nurses said if you relax, the baby will as well.  I had all sorts of thoughts fluttering in my mind.  As I sit here and remember that day,  I still get teary eyed because it is a moment that I will never forget.  Seven years ago today, I held my baby for the very first time 12 days after he was born.  Today he is a lively 7 yr old and he still snuggles with mommy.123-4899-2 123-4900-2


The first time a mom of a preemie holds her baby is so special.  If you ever hear someone tell you that, take a moment, listen to them and send them hugs, love and prayers because that mom is rejoicing inside at the very first time she is holding her baby.




Happy 7th Birthday Kaleb Moore: You’re Proof that Miracles Exist

We at The Gift of Life couldn’t be prouder to announce that our very own Miracle Kaleb turns 7 today – Happy Birthday Kaleb. For those who don’t know, Kaleb was born weighing only 1 lb., 10 oz. The medical experts said he wouldn’t survive but look at him now.

Kaleb’s life is a miracle.

What is a Miracle?

Miracles are positive occurrences that reach beyond human understanding to testify of the greatness, power, and existence of life and love. Miracles defy odds and breakdown impenetrable walls of hindrance and limitation. They often render widely-accepted principles of logic and scientific prime candidates for reconsideration.

Consider, for example, the expert opinion that some of the doctors gave about Kaleb’s fate. They thought his life would end in the NICU. Today, however, Kaleb is a vibrant boy with shining personality. And today is his 7th birthday.

For those who receive dire diagnoses, the existence of miracles offers a reason to hope and an opportunity to deny the cravings of darkness chasing after them. The story of Kaleb Moore and his family is one about a real-life miracle. This nonfiction miracle story continues to inspire people to press on regardless of any harsh circumstances they may be facing.

It’s especially inspiring to the parents and families of other preemies. The Gift of Life exists in part to ensure this miracle is known by as many people at it can reach.

Facing Big Challenges and Finding Grand Triumph

For Kaleb, Rosie, and Marcus Moore, the NICU stay was far from easy. Kaleb had to be hooked up to all sorts of machines. The wires and tubes strung from his body. Finally getting released from the NICU was a big victory but the challenges didn’t end there. Kaleb and his family still had a big fight on their hands – a fight for life, peace, and sanity.

There were countless doctors’ visits that had to be made, as well as a dramatic shift in household management; Kaleb’s delicate health meant that the home had to be kept at an extraordinary germ-free. The uncommon and demanding rules for clean that the family had to adhere to for keeping Kaleb’s home environment how he needed it to be kept friends and other visitors at bay – some to never return.

Having a preemie effectively isolated the Moores. The only people who showed up were the ones who had a genuine heart of love for this family. Experiencing firsthand the stress and loneliness that parents of preemies, Rosie Moore founded The Gift of LIfe. The organization reaches out to families of preemies in the NICU and combats the lack of support they would otherwise suffer through.

Although the start of Kaleb’s life was rough, he and his family reaped victory for all their hard work and faith. The odds were against them. They not only made it through the impossible but turned around to give a helping hand to the families who would be forced upon the same path.

Miracle Kaleb: A Walking, Talking, Sweetheart of an Inspiration

Dear Kaleb,

We know that life’s not always easy, but we want you to know that you’re loved. You inspire us to be more than we guessed we were. Your life is a gift, not only to yourself and your family but to all people. Thank you for never giving up. And thank you for being a living example that miracles do exist.

We thank God for you.


Happy 7th Birthday,

Your Friends at The Gift of Life.



Kaleb Back Then…

Kaleb NICU

Marcus and Kaleb Moore Image

Marcus and Rosie caring for their preemie son


Kaleb Now…




Sharon’s Story: Transforming the Grief of Loss into Joy Shared with Others

The Loss of a Preemie is never easy. A parent is a parent no matter how long their child lives; the love is there. When a child is born prematurely, the confidence moms and dads commonly have concerning the expanse of time they will get to have with their offspring is denied. Although no parent knows for a fact the exact number of days or years a son or daughter will live, problems with a baby’s health can shorten all estimations.

As Bianca Seidman of CBS News reported, 1 in 9 of all babies are born prematurely, which has translated into approximately 450,000 preemies being born in the U.S. yearly, yet pre-term birth is the cause of as much as a third of infant deaths.

While it is happening that the survival rates for preemies is improving, however gradually, too many parents are being left to cope with the loss of a preemie. Even years after being born, children born prematurely are more susceptible to perishing from health issues than those born full-term. Many preemies only get to live for a few short hours – the grief is often just as devastating to their parents as to the parents coping with the loss of a child who lived for many years.

What Helps Parents Cope with the Loss of a Preemie?

Light still shines in any dark place – you just have to want to see it; the death of a baby is never easy, but some parents transform the sadness of the loss into a celebration of love and life. Consider, for example, April’s story:


Sharon, Mike, and Their Preemie Son: A Love to Remember


Pregnancy before preterm birth“My husband and I found out that I was pregnant with our son in March of 2015. For the first trimester and part of the second trimester, everything looked great with our son and my pregnancy was going smoothly.

Around 18-20 weeks mark, we were excited to find out that we were having a boy. Unfortunately, we also learned that our sweet boy was not growing as he should. The shock and hard news came that our son had irregular multicystic kidneys and he most likely wouldn’t make it to birth. Quickly our joy over having a first baby, a son, went to confusion and grief.

   However, as the months progressed, my husband and I decided that it was best to continue on with our pregnancy with the hope of hearing, holding, and seeing our little boy. One of the effects of our son’s kidney problems was that he was not able to create any amniotic fluid. The lack of amniotic fluid prevented him from being able to properly develop. This hindered his ability to live outside of the womb.

   At around 29-30 weeks in the pregnancy, my body went into labor and my son was born prematurely. We had been told by different high risk doctors that there was a good chance that our son would be stillborn. However, we had been praying that God would help him survive the birth and allow us time to hear him and hold him.

Preemie Birth

    God definitely heard that prayer. Our son was able to maintain a very strong heartbeat throughout the long labor. After three hours of pushing, we heard the sweet cries of our baby boy. Unfortunately, his lungs were underdeveloped and he rejected all treatment to save his life. We did, however, get to spend almost two special hours of bliss, holding and loving on our son, before he passed away into Heaven.

   Even though we only had a few hours with him, I am blessed that God helped my son to make it through the pregnancy and deeply appreciate the time that I had. I love our little boy and my husband and I think of him often. Despite the loss, I am still blessed and thankful to have had the opportunity to have my son and spend a little time holding him.”

I look forward to the day when we can all be together again. My sweet baby I miss you lots and will always love you.

    -Your Mommy

Sharon and Mike have a story that is filled with both love and pain. At The Gift of Life, we are thankful that they are open in sharing their story and experience with us. Although there is much sorrow here, there is also much joy. Here are just a few of the points we’ve found in their testimony that can be helpful for other preemie parents:

Grief to Joy: Lessons from Sharon and Mike’s Story

April and Her Husband with their preemie son

  1. A foundation of real love:

From the moment Sharon found out she was expecting, she and her husband filled with love for their baby. Of course, at that time everything was going smoothly with the pregnancy. They could not foresee the coming troubles, but when the adverse health started setting in, Sharon and Mike’s love never turned around.

  1. Hoping on despite confusion and grief:

The sorrow didn’t wait until the passing of their son; for them, it came with the news that something was wrong with their son. Despite how dim the outlook was, Sharon and Mike continued to press on through the pregnancy, hoping that at least they would get the chance to have some experience of their new born son – their hopes were realized when he survived the birth and they got to see and hold him, and hear him cry.

  1. Showing grace and giving back:

Sharon and Mike could have let the pain of the loss spin their lives out of control, letting depression, guilt, regret, and sadness rule over them, but it didn’t happen that way. Instead, they are now connected with The Gift of Life.  They openly share their experience so that others can learn from it, and that those going through the same thing can know that they are not alone. Moreover, Sharon’s employer has organized and an event   – The 2016 Creative Inspiration Journey School’s Journey Showcase & Extravaganza. The event will take place on April 2, 2016 in Winter Springs, Florida. In honor of Sharon and Mike’s son, a generous 10% of the proceeds will go to support The Gift of Life. We welcome you to attend.

Journey Showcase in Winter Park, FL April 2016

2015 Christmas in the NICU: A Touch of Friendship for Preemie Parents

Many people debate over what has become of the true meaning of Christmas. To the parents who have to spend this holiday in the NICU with their preemies, the joy of the season is something that might be missed. Hectic Christmas shopping and the tradition of giving presents are the aspects of this holiday that cause some to claim that this celebration of peace, harmony, and love has fallen victim to commercialism. The noise of the debates over whether the day has lost its true meaning in the heart of American society is rendered meaningless of itself to families who have to spend 2015 Christmas in the NICU. As neonatologist Dr. Steven Abrams of Texas Children’s Hospital observed, “Parents of a baby in the NICU are already under enough pressure that Christmas shopping isn’t at the top of their to-do list”.

In neonatal intensive care units across the nation, non-profit organizations such as The Gift of Life pay a visit of support around the holidays, handing out gifts, providing entertainment, and giving emotional, educational, and financial support to the families of the babies there. The Gift of Life is based in Orlando and provides services and support to those in Florida Hospital NICU. Since 2012, we’ve been delivering love bears and preemie hats to hundreds of families. This year we also provided bears and thermal tote bags to the moms at Ronald McDonald House by Winnie Palmer. The thermal bags allow the mothers to safely transport their fresh breastmilk to the NICU.NICU Christmas Gifts Image

What was it Like to Visit the NICU for Christmas?

Preemies with Teddy Bears in NICUIn an ideal world, perhaps the neonatal intensive care units of every hospital would be an empty, boring place to be – all babies born would come perfectly healthy and when they’re due. This is the third year that Rosie Moore and The Gift of Life team returned to the Florida Hospital NICU around holiday time in order to hand out gifts to the families there. This particular NICU happens to be the same one where Kaleb, Rosie’s son was once a patient.

Unlike the utopic version, the NICU was full and extremely busy – not only were there a lot of preemies, but a lot of medical staff and many concerned parents. Despite the hecticness, some of the workers remembered Kaleb from his stay there 6 years ago. Although Kaleb had to wait outside the NICU because only adults were allowed in, pictures of how happy he is helped to brighten up their day. Kaleb’s story may be a miracle, but it is the same success story every preemie parent hopes for – some of them get their miracle, but too many don’t.

The Spreading of Joy, Love, and Hope

Desires tend to pique around Christmas; some hope to receive elaborate gifts. For the parents of preemies in the NICU the greatest present they could have is their child’s wellbeing – the second best is the support of people who truly care. Hopeful thought dwindle for some of those whose preemie is in a worse state than most – then there are those parents who have trouble seeing the bright side right from the start. Whether the adults in the NICU choose to take an optimistic or pessimistic outlook, it helps when they get to see firsthand the success of someone who has been where they are.

Jackie and Ashytyn joined in on The Gift of Life’s 2015 Christmas mission to the NICU and Ronald McDonald House, along with Miracle Kaleb. Their presence is significant to the families we serve because Ashytyn, now 18 years old, was also born prematurely – Jackie is her mom. This mother and daughter have their own miracle story to tell, and they have made it a point to always give back to the preemie community during all of The Gift of Life’s projects and events. Hats, bears, and emotional support were given out by this spectacularly inspirational team to the moms in the three NICU’s at Florida Hospital.

The value of a gift is not just in its price, the intensity of the craving for it, or in its practical use, but in the thought behind it. Those with babies in the NICU require much more in the way of physical resources than just a teddy bear or knit hat for their preemie, but the meaning behind these simple presents is so powerful and real that they often become prized possessions. The parents spending 2015 Christmas in the NICU were elated by the visit from The Gift of Life’s team – they were glad to find out that there was someone who had gone through the same experience, and who cared enough about them and their babies to be on their side.

Moving Forward by Doing What Matters

The mere presence of Ashytyn, the chance to look upon her beauty and health and realize that she was once a preemie in the NICU, touched the preemie parents right at that emotionally hurting spot in their hearts and provided comfort. Their reaction of joy to The Gift of Life’s visit was inspiring and motivating to our team – it was live proof that our work matters and makes a difference. We want to do more; our vision is to have a place where we can hold weekly support groups for these parents – it is a much needed service in Orlando and the surrounding areas. The parents of preemies must be empowered through knowledge and support, as this can have a direct impact on their babies’ wellbeing.

For now, we are pleased to continue providing services to Florida Hospital NICU and Ronald McDonald House during the Christmas season, but we are only able to achieve this through the generous contributions of the volunteers and financial givers who support The Gift of Life. The demand for our services grows with each passing year. For example, this year was the first time we had the privilege of being contacted for services by families in Indiana and Georgia – we served them with gifts of thermal bags, hats, and bears, as well as emotional support. also Currently, we are seeking more volunteer knitters to knit the preemie hats and love bears that we give out. We also require more financial supporters who can help us fund the maintaining and expansion of our organization.

Roise Moore with Jackie and Ashytyn at Florida Hospital NICU

Be a Part of Our Christmas in 2016: Connect with The Gift of Life

Preemie in Georgia NICUA stay in the NICU can be emotionally, physically, and financially taxing. When the parents are finally able to bring their preemies home from the hospital, we support them by providing a care package. We also like to help them celebrate their baby’s release from the NICU by giving parents gift cards they can use for a celebratory dinner. Our ultimate goal is to reach out to every preemie parent in the state of Florida, but that requires a lot of resources. If you are not already, please consider becoming one of our supporters by making a donation of any amount.

Hospitals interested in getting involved with The Gift of Life can feel free to contact us for more information. Business owners who want to become corporate sponsors should download our Corporate Sponsorship form. Preemie parents who want to connect with us and receive support can join our Facebook group. Even if you do not have the financial resources to assist in supporting us, you can donate your time by becoming a Gift of Life volunteer.

Every life is a miracle. Every parent who has a preemie in the NICU should be shown that there is someone who cares. Love and encouragement are the best gifts that can be given. The Gift of Life is an Orlando-based nonprofit organization founded and operated by preemie parents who want to give back – won’t you join us?

Why You Should Join in on This December 22th Birthday Celebration

People tend to celebrate their own birthdays and those of their friends and family members – sometimes they even honor the birthdays of celebrities and historical figures. Rarely, however, does anyone participate in the celebration of someone they don’t know. We invite you to join in with us at the Gift of Life in wishing founder Rosie Moore a very Happy Birthday today, December 22, because the way we party is by doing something to make a difference in the lives of preemies and their families.

A Few Famous People Whose Birthday Is December 22

  • Jordan Sparks
  • Diane Sawyer
  • Barbara Billingsley
  • Mia Tyler
  • Lauralee Bell
  • Meghan Trainor

A Few Famous People Who Were Born Preemies

  • Albert Einstein
  • Anna Pavlova
  • Issac Newton
  • Johannes Kepler
  • Mark Twain
  • Sidney Poitier
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Winston Churchill

How You Can Join Us in Celebrating Rosie’s Birthday Today

The Gift of Life depends on generous givers such as yourself in order to maintain and expand our outreach services. Each year we connect with hundreds of families both in Orlando and Nationwide, providing encouragement and support during and after their preemies’ stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

To Rosie, the best birthday present you could give her is to invest in The Gift of Life – any size of donation makes a big difference. Ever since her son was born prematurely, Rosie’s passion has remained in empowering those who must experience the same challenges that her family has had to face. Her son Kaleb’s life is a miracle story. In honor of that miracle, Rosie founded The Gift of Life. To her, there is no greater present than having the ability to give back. Consider making at least a $1 donation today.

Rosie's Birthday Card


A Reason To Celebrate

Today is November 17, 2015, World Prematurity Day.  It is the day that is selected to raise awareness about the number 1 killer of infants.  According to the World Health Organization in the United States alone, 517, 400 premature births occur every year. Besides maternal illness or high blood pressure, diabetes, sometimes it is unknown why babies are born prematurely.

Visit their website for more information:

The Gift of Life was founded by Rosie and Marcus Moore after having a premature baby of their own.  Kaleb was born at 1lb and 10 oz.  He was born at 27 weeks and was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 5 months.  What parents Rosie and Marcus did not know, was that besides Rosie being in danger due to the stroke level blood pressure she had and Kaleb suffering internally if he was not taken out, both of them could have died.


Two doctors worked together to save both their lives, Dr Walker( OB) and Dr Bernstein( neonatologist).  After the delivery when Kaleb came home, she took him to her OB appt, to show Dr Walker how he was doing.  She was told Dr Walker was no longer there and he no longer was doing obstetrics.  Rosie thought that was odd, but did not think of anything of it.  This year when Rosie went to her yearly check up, another doctor was there of the seven they had.  He asked about the pregnancy and when he asked about Kaleb and she shared his age and weight, the doctor said, “you are the one.” Rosie Moore asked what was he speaking of.  He stated that Dr Walker left right after Kaleb was born because of the overwhelming emergency of the delivery.  One can only imagine the emotions going through his mind.

Dr Walker Rosie OBWP_001398

What Dr Walker may not have known, is that on October 13, 2009, he saved two lives of a mother and son.  He may have joked with Rosie telling her when they met the day before at the hospital, that one deceleration( an episode when the baby’s heart rate drops) and he was out, because this kid was going to Harvard.  Rosie remembers that day and laughs today saying, ” I should have gotten that in writing.” Regardless,  that quiet morning while she slept, Kaleb got in trouble, his breathing decreased and he had to come out.  It was like a movie in the ER, doors flying open, codes being called, doctors on standby, nurses rushing.  But within 15 minutes, baby Kaleb was out.  Not the typical way a parent expects a child by emergency crash c-section.

Kaleb NICU

Today, on World Prematurity Day, there is someone who you may know that is premature or had a baby that was.  Help The Gift of Life raise awareness about premature births.  Having a baby should be a normal process, but for some, it is not.  Let’s band together as a community world-wide and give support to these parents who are having babies before time.  These babies and parents did not ask for their baby to come early, so while this happens, lend emotional and financial support.


Premature babies can be our future doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lawyers, teachers, engineers, actors dancers, mothers , fathers, and any profession they choose.  Someone gave them a chance, will you?  Visit our website to see how you can become involved 123--4942


Help us raise awareness today by wearing purple!


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