The Gift of Life Orlando Encourages the Celebration of World Prematurity Day 2015

Orlando-based non-profit organization The Gift of Life continues to serve local families whose lives are affected by the birth of a premature child. This year, the organization is calling for all who can to join them in celebrating World Prematurity Day, which is on November 17, 2015. Participants can join in on increasing awareness for this notable cause by wearing purple, the color of prematurity.


Just as the previous year, the City of Orlando will take part in Prematurity Day by lighting up City Hall’s water fountain and the tower of light sculpture in purple at around 5:45 pm until dawn of the next day. Area officials, including the Orange County Mayor and the Mayor of Windermere have continued to support the Gift of Life and the organization’s cause by declaring official days of recognition, encouraging citizens to realize what an impact prematurity has on the lives of both the infants and their families.


Rosie Moore, founder of The Gift of Life, was inspired to start the organization after her son Kaleb was born weighing only 1lb. 10 oz. At that time, several medical experts were of the opinion that Kaleb would not make it, but today he is a vibrant young boy whose life has been proclaimed a miracle story. Around Christmas, Kaleb can be found handing out gifts to parents and babies in the same NICU where he was once a patient; just one of the many ways The Gift of Life reaches out to support preemies and their families – Kaleb is a proud participant. Rosie captured the story of the struggles and triumphs of her son’s earliest days, authoring a book called A Story of Faith. Having experienced first-hand what parents of premature newborns have to face, she knows all too well what it means to them to know that someone does care about what they go through.


The Gift of Life is actively seeking volunteers to fill several positions in their organization. Corporate sponsors and individual philanthropists are always welcome to donate, hold events, and share ideas about how this organization can do more to reach and serve families in need. Premature birth is such a common instance that just about everybody knows someone whose life was in some way affected by it. This Tuesday, taking just the simple step of wearing purple with the motive of helping to raise awareness will do a lot of good. Those interested in learning more or teaming up with The Gift of Life can click here.


Mayor Buddy Dyer Shares a Special Message

Mayor Buddy Dyer is a supporter of The Gift of Life.  He wants to raise awareness in our community about premature births and how that affects our community.  On September 12, 2015 he declared that this day would be The Gift of Life Day.


Mayor Buddy Dyer had a special message for everyone on September 12 2015.


What Is Prematurity and What Effect Does It Have?

For many friends, parents, or family members, “what is prematurity?” is a pressing question. It arises from people who either have a preemie in their lives or have heard that difficult pregnancy is at a high risk for prematurity.

What is prematurity?

A full term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Premature babies, or preemies, are babies born before 37 weeks.

What percentage of births are considered premature?

Approximately 8 to 10 percent of all births in the United States, about 400,000 babies, are premature; because they are born before fully maturing, preemies tend to weigh much less than full term babies.

What does the neonatal intensive care unit do?

What is prematurity, it is when a baby is born too soon. The first few minutes after birth are therefore most critical minutes as the baby has to be able to function on its own. Having been taken out of the mother’s womb too early, the baby misses out on vital development time.

Babies who are born prematurely – also called preemies – will need specialized care from neonatologists (doctors who specialize in premature births), neonatal nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, physical and speech therapists, neonatal nurses, dietitians and lactation specialists. Together this team of professionals will develop a plan of care that will nurse the baby back to health so that the baby can be discharged to home.

What is the danger of having a premature birth?

Preemies are prone to complications such as respiratory distress syndrome and infections, and often spend weeks or months in a neonatal intensive care unit; because their organs haven’t fully developed.  Preemies can also suffer from life-long physical, social, and learning disabilities, as well as brain damage (including cerebral palsy), digestive problems, hearing and vision loss.

Premature birth is the number one killer of newborns in America; 13.5 percent of babies born in Florida are pre-term, which is higher than the national average.

Premature birth takes an enormous toll on families and costs society billions of dollars each year.  Most people are unaware of this common, serious, and costly problem.

How does having a baby change your life?

Many parents to be and others that are not parents ask themselves,” How does having a baby change your life?” Having a baby is a life changing experience that compares to no other.  As parents you trade late night outings for late night feedings, trips to the spa, convert in trips to the park, your once tiny designer bag, becomes a large diaper bag and your little two-seater sports car, becomes an SUV or minivan.  As parents you learn to adapt to maybe earlier bed times, family centered activities and socializing with parents having babies. But what happens when you have a baby that is a preemie?

What is prematurity? It is a challenging situation for many families and their newborns. What it means is that support and encouragement are needed. At the Gift of Life, we know that one person can make a big difference. We are a team of parents, families, and friends of preemie infants sharing our successes and give hope, compassion, and support to those whose lives have been touched by prematurity. Join us.

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