Why The Gift of Life Was Started

Why The Gift of Life Was Started

I gave birth to Kaleb, but he birthed me into God’s purpose.  Did you ever ask yourself what would my life look like if it turned out a different way?  Many times I asked myself that question as my son was fighting for his life with a 5% chance of survival at birth.    Kaleb was born prematurely 13 weeks early, weighing 1lb 10 oz, 12 inches long and fitting in the palm of my hand.  That is not a story that you wish to hear from anyone.  But day in and day out 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely.  Some for health reasons on the part of the mother,  the baby’s health, and some it is unknown.  We struggle as parents wondering what we did wrong, how could we have avoided delivering early until we are blaming ourselves for it.  Today I am here to tell you as a surviving mother of a premature baby that premature birth happens, it is not prejudiced.  Premature birth affects all races, socioeconomic status, ages, and women all over the world.

When my son was born, I wanted to hide and not talk to anyone, but a wise woman pulled me out of my isolation and had me sharing my story before I could blink.  She was the vehicle to make me see premature birth in a different light; a light that would make me care about others even though I was hurting.  She encouraged me to go on and live with my son because he was a miracle.

Today he is a happy little boy.  He is 9 years old and just full of life.  The road here was not easy, but the journey to going home from the NICU was priceless.  Join me as we wish our happy little miracle, Kaleb, a Happy Birthday!

In the words of  director Andrew Stanton,  “make me care.” By saying this to you, it is simple, a great story will make you care.  Here at The Gift of Life, we have many stories, some that will make you laugh, some that will make you cry, and some that will make you feel good that you listened to it.  These stories are what bring donations, volunteers, and sponsors because every day it is something new and your help can make a difference!


Contact us today to hear someone’s story and get involved with The Gift of Life 


Happy 8th Birthday to Kaleb Moore, the Miracle of Life

Eight years ago today a miracle was born, our son Kaleb Moore. He is the reason that the Gift of Life was founded.  As parents, Marcus and I struggled with the thought of what would happen to our little baby if he did not make it.

The chance of survival was 5%. We both had a lot of faith that if God brought us this baby, that He would help him survive.  Five and a half months in the NICU gave us a chance to think and see how other parents handled the premature birth of their baby.  This is when we realized that we needed to do something to help others.

As I was waiting one day to wash my hands before entering the NICU, I started to watch the parents ahead of me. They had a solemn look on their faces and a look of worry.  When it was Marcus’ turn, I noticed that he had that same look as the parents ahead of me.  My turn came up to wash my hands and as I washed my hands, I looked up in the mirror and besides the tired eyes that stared back at me, I noticed something.  I had that same solemn, sad, and worried face that the other parents had, “traumanicumized” as I call it.

I thought at that moment, we have been here 60 days and we do not know what is ahead for us, I can’t live my life in worry and not have faith.  I asked myself what can I do, I would be the blind leading the blind.

I spoke with Marcus and we decided that we would spread cheer during the Christmas season to help us feel better.  We started out with cookies for all the NICU units at our hospital as well as the labor and delivery unit and the high risk antepartum and postpartum unit.  We thought that would cheer the nurses up, but started to think further as we were thinking of returning the following year.  We, the parents, are the ones in need of support, so how do we make someone feel better? The cookies then became a part of our Christmas delivery until 2012 when we met some senior citizens who knitted bears.  This started the Christmas bear deliveries.

From there, The Gift of Life was born and started delivering care packages on admission and discharge to the NICU with the help of their corporate partners at Enfamil, Aloma Printing, and Pampers.  Today we are delivering packages all over the United States when they are requested by the parents in the NICU.  Our goal is to one day reach every NICU in the United Staes from day one that the baby is admitted there.

Today help us celebrate Kaleb’s birthday with well wishes for him.  If you are able to make a donation on his birthday, all donations go to help support our preemie mentor program and care package distribution all across the United States.


A Letter to Kaleb…

Dear Kaleb,

You were chosen by God to be on this earth, may this day be full of fun and exciting things today.  You are a miracle and you will do great things in life.  You are The Gift of Life’s Biggest ambassador, a living testimony that test and trials can be turned in to testimonies to encourage others. We love you so much.

Love Mommy and Daddy




A Mother’s Approach to the NICU

The Gift of Life from time to time has guest bloggers and real life stories.  Today we have a story by Danielle, the mom of a preemie.  Take a moment to read Danielle’s journey through the preterm birth of her baby in her own words.

My story. I’ve been asked a time or two to write it, but find it really difficult to think about that time. Those times. Two of them. No, my story isn’t as bad as some and my kids are doing quite well, but it still leaves its mark. Six years on and I still wonder if I will ever approach birthday time without flashbacks of all the beeping of monitors, frantic wishes for another breath, tears at yet another bad day.

I would have been fine without kids. I had been told by various medical professionals that pregnancy was unlikely anyway. Yet, there I was, staring at two pink lines. A few weeks later, the doctor said “it isn’t viable.” He told us to go home and wait for a miscarriage. That was how we spent Christmas and New Year’s. At 27 weeks (after he admitted it “might” be viable), he told me I had to go to the hospital because my blood pressure was too high. A few days later, a nurse sheepishly handed me a pamphlet about living wills and scurried away. I found out that the doctor told my husband I had a 50% chance of surviving and he wouldn’t even put a number on our daughter. Next month she will be 6.

You know all those posts about bonding with your baby and oh-so-sweet labor stories? Ya, none of that. I didn’t want to see her. She looked like an alien monkey. I didn’t want to get out of bed. It hurt. It physically hurt and the guilt of not keeping her healthy and safe emotionally hurt. The poor nurse – I was so angry at yet another stick of my 1lb 12oz baby’s poor, bruised foot. The surgeon hovered and threw out acronyms like NEC. Yet, 56 days later Willow passed her car seat test and came home.

She rushed through milestones like she rushed through pregnancy. Today, she struggles a bit with ADHD and SPD, but races through each day with more exuberance than I know how to handle. She is my sunshine.

My second pregnancy lasted 32 weeks. I think stress played a big factor in that one. Ocean made it to 4lbs 7oz and only 3 weeks in the NICU. We felt like pros, waving away explanations of the process. Still, the hour drive each way, every day took its toll on both our strength and our finances. Ocean has a dairy allergy, is more susceptible to seasonal allergy issues, and has some anxiety-related issues, but nothing major. She will be 4 in July.

We are lucky. My daughters lived and so did I. They didn’t come home with tubes or machines or scars from surgeries. Yet, I still check every night to see if they are breathing. I still worry and Google every learning issue. I wonder how they will do through their own reproductive journey. They are beautiful and happy. So why does is it so painful to remember? Why is it so hard to crochet preemie hats without crying? PTSD, maybe, although I feel selfish for my feelings considering some friends had preemies who didn’t make it.

The lesson here is this: no matter how much time you have to spend “parenting” and no matter someone else’s experience, you are still you with feelings and experiences that deserve recognition. There was no time for that in the NICU or when we brought the tiny babies home. Even now, a minute to complete a thought is so rare. Only recently – almost 6 years after – did I start to remember more of the stress. Only with recognition, support, and patience was I able to acknowledge all the pain, anger, depression, and fear and morph into a healthier, more peaceful individual. A better parent, a better spouse, a better me. I read posts and comments by older moms of preemies now grown and they talk about it like it was nothing, completely over-shadowed by a lifetime of great memories. I made it this far. So will you.


Visit The Gift of Life page www.thegiftoflife27.org

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.


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