Every year Rosie and Marcus Moore founders of The Gift of Life, take November 17 World Prematurity Day as a day to remember their little miracle Kaleb that was born 13 weeks early at 27 weeks, weighing only 1lb 10oz and 12 inches long. They remember the almost 6 months that he lived in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) growing, having medical issues, and hanging on to every breath, wondering if it would be his last one. They cried, they prayed, and lost sleep for months and even years after he went home. At birth, he was only given a 5% chance of survival, while Rosie, hung on for life as well after the emergency c-section. Marcus was at a loss with his only child possibly not making it, the love of his life in serious condition following the surgery. He clung to God, but also to the song He’s My Son by Mark Schultz. He prayed those words, he shouted, God can you hear me. Somedays there was silence and the emotions overcame him because he could not stand another day going to see his son suffering.
As Rosie got better, his spirits were lifted through her encouragement, that God would not provide him a son to take him away. He grew stronger each day until the day he finally came home. This past September, The Gift of Life held their 5th annual charity gala and Rosie decided that she would put together an assimilation of what life in the NICU was like for parents. Marcus and Tisha were to perform in the assimilation together, but due to the unexpected hurricane Tisha, Mrs. Virginia International, mother of preemies herself, was not able to get out to Orlando. But because Orlando has a huge heart for charity, Karen Shriner, professional actress, and singer stepped into the role 2 days before the event and evoked emotion along with Marcus from the audience.
See some of the remarks from the guests:
“I was overtaken with emotion, I could not stop crying.”
” I already knew the story because I went through it with Marcus and Rosie, but seeing the show tonight, brought me back to that moment and I cried like a baby.”
“I never knew that parents endured these emotions.”
“I was scheduled to work and did not know that my job today was involving an event for premature babies, it brought me back to when my daughter was born 14 yrs ago, I could not stop crying and I am supposed to be working the event.”
The list went on of people sharing their emotions.
The assimilation started with founder Rosie Moore saying:
“Imagine your baby being born 13 weeks early, weighing 1lb 10oz and fitting in the palm of your hand.”
From there, The NICU awareness video played:
Then the assimilation with Karen Shriner and Marcus Moore started to the song He’s My Son” by Mark Schultz. It showed the daily fears, tears, struggles, emotions of two parents while their baby was in the NICU. That is the story of Rosie and Marcus. Florida Hospital partnered with The Gift of Life to sponsor the Isolette similar to the one little Kaleb was in when he stayed in the NICU.
Many times Rosie would be alone in the room not wanting to go home while Marcus would go to the chapel or on the other side of the room praying as Rosie hunched over the isolette still healing from her surgery, weary from lack of sleep, and hurting to see her son lying in an isolette connected to wires, IV’s, breathing machines, coding frequently setting off alarms. In this assimilation that is what Karen and Marcus are doing assimilating those moments in the NICU.
They share this story with you today not so that you can feel sorry for them or any other preemie parent but so that they can raise awareness of what is happening with preemie parents when they are in the NICU. These emotions are real and painful.
The Gift of Life needs your help, they can’t do this alone, it takes a village of volunteers, board members, and financial support to reach as many families as they can.
With all the Christmas rush of gifts, parties, dinners and last minute shopping, it is a wonder that we can all remain sane trying to get everything organized. But for some people, none of this excitement will be fulfilled because they are dealing with something that has taken a much larger priority. Parents that have babies born premature in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) don’t get an opportunity to celebrate Christmas as you or I would because their baby is struggling to survive in the NICU.
Imagine that the greatest joy of celebrating your baby’s first Christmas and you have to celebrate it in the NICU. This is why the Christmas Bear delivery to NICU’s in Central Florida started. The Gift of Life delivers Christmas bears that are knitted by the senior citizens of The Good Samaritan Village every year so that we can bring a little cheer to each and every parent and let them know that someone is thinking about them as their baby is recuperating. The Gift of Life also provided knitted Santa hats for the babies to wear on Christmas Day.
Getting the bears and hats ready:
This year The Gift of Life was able to donate over 150 bears to the NICU at Florida Hospital, a few parents at Winnie Palmer, parents staying at Ronald McDonald House with babies in the Winnie Palmer NICU, and to a few NICU parents in the state of Washington, Virginia, New Jersey, California, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Ohio. We were also able to donate this year over 600 Care packages to families in the NICU’s and those staying at Ronald McDonald Houses and individual families asking for support across the country. We can only do this through the donations of our sponsors and donations that come in to help with the packages and postage to send out the care packages. We were also able to donate this year over 600 Care packages to families in the NICU’s and those staying at Ronald McDonald Houses and individual families asking for support across the country.
Words from a preemie parent:
My son Emerson is a current patient at Florida hospital in the NICU. We received your teddy bear and it brightened our day.
Thank you so much for your kindness during this difficult time.
Delivering Bears and Hats to the Florida Hospital NICU
Delivering Hats and Bears to Parents at Winnie Palmer NICU
Delivering Hats and Bears to Ronald McDonald House for parents of preemies who are at Winnie Palmer NICU.
Watch as we deliver to Florida Hospital NICU the Love Bears this year. Celebrity singer Jody McBrayer, dedicated this special song to our families when he sang at our Charity Christmas gala this past year.
A big thank you to our volunteers Keitra Robinson, Jackie Pettit, Marcus Moore and Child Life Specialist Summer Bernath and our digital storyteller Bruce Reynolds.
A big thank you to Jody McBrayer for coming t our annual Gift of Life Charity Gala and dedcating this song to the babies.
Follow us in Fcebook https://www.facebook.com/thegiftoflifeorlando/
When Rosie Moore Married her love Marcus Moore, she always imagined that they would get pregnant and have a baby or two and life would be easy. After being married a year they decided that was the time to start their new family together. The year went by and no success. They visited their doctor who said hmm we shall have to start infertility treatments to help you along the way because your body has forgotten how to get pregnant after a 13 year lapse. So reluctantly for a few months they tried it the doctor’s way. Rosie got to the point that she did not want anymore interventions and planned appointments. They prayed to the Lord and said, Lord let your will be done. Three months after treatment stopped on the Friday before mother’s day, Rosie was able to give Marcus the biggest surprise ever. God intervened and they were expecting their first child.
A few months in to the pregnancy after all the other trials of pregnancy, the doctors discovered that Rosie had stroke level high blood pressure and she did not have any symptoms, which worried them. They became concerned and said immediate hospital stays were mandatory. Kaleb’s life and Rosie’s life were in danger. On an unssupecting day while already hospitalized, Kaleb’s heart rate dropped, he had the cord wrapped around his neck three times. An emergency c-section was needed. He had a reverse blood flow from the placenta, causing nutrients not to reach him. He was in danger of intrauterine growth retardation. If they left Rosie’s blood pressure elevated, he received the nutrients, but she would die, if they controlled the blood pressure, Kaleb would die. They waited as long as they could to take him, but that one unsuspecting early morning, their greatest fears came about, Kaleb’s heart rate dropped too fast, it was an emergency. Dr. Walker had him out within minutes in a crash c-section. Rosie was unconscious almost 24 hours, she did not know what happened.
Rosie and Marcus endured a 5 month stay with Kaleb in the NICU where daily doctors would say we don’t guarantee his life. There were days that they both wanted to give up hope, but each time they thought there was no hope, God gave them strength to keep going.
Until one day after being born at 1lb 10 oz and 27 weeks he was discharged after 23 weeks or 5 months in the NICU at 10lbs 1 oz. What an amazing God of miracles. Notice he reversed his weight at discharge from birth!
This is why Rosie Moore decided to put her story of faith on paper to help support those moms and dads that are struggling day in and day out wondering what will become of their child. Even after they go home on medications, treatments, equipment, there is hope! Today Kaleb is 6 years old and although he only has 1 kidney and some digestive issues, the doctors are amazed at his progress and development!
Join 27 Miracles and other Sponsors on September 10, 2015
The Gift of Life Charity Gala: Christmas in the City
This special night includes dinner, entertainment, guest celebrities, silent and live auction to bring awareness and support to The Gift of Life, a non profit organization that offers hope, encouragement and support to parents of premature babies, and neonatal intensive care units. Celebrating the daily miracles of premature newborns and encouraging all individuals & families through this journey.
Sometimes people get involved with charities because they have gone through the experience, know someone who did or they are genuinely touched by what the charity stands for.
On September 12, 2015, The Gift of Life had its annual charity gala. Founder and President Rosie Moore, wanted to honor someone who made a difference. As she stood on stage, she called a few people up by name.
Olivia/ born at 23 weeks 1lb 7 oz./ Doctors told her parents three times to plan her funeral because there was nothing more they could do. One doctor stood up and said, let’s give her a chance and try something new. Here she is almost 24 years old!
Erin/Born at 24 weeks 1lb 6oz, doctors did not assure her living as she was too tiny. Here she is almost 24 years of age.
Ashtyn/Born at 35 weeks 5lbs 6oz, here she is 17 yrs. Old.
Alyssa/ Born at 28 weeks 4lbs 3 oz., here she is at 14 years old
Bryanna/Born at 28 weeks 2lbs 6oz, here she is at 14 yrs. Old
Alyssa and Bryanna are twins.
Destiny/ Born at 26 weeks 1lb 13 oz., here she is at 8 yrs. Old
Kaleb/Born 27 weeks 1lb 10 oz., doctors did not guarantee his life or Rosie’s life, it was either her life or his that would be sacrificed, but God had other plans. He placed Dr. Walker in their path to save Rosie and Dr. Bernstein to save Kaleb. Here he is at 5 years of age.
Many may ask why we share these pictures and stories. Rosie Moore wants to be sure that you see what supporting The Gift of Life does for premature babies, but also what it does for their parents.
All the parents who had premature babies stood up in support of The Gift of Life. Prematurity affects all ages, all races, all socioeconomic status, all religions. But we can make a difference.
On September 12, 2015 The Gift of Life honored someone who was not premature, but knew in her heart that she wanted to help babies that were born premature. She has a great set of parents that instilled in her values of helping others. This little girl gave up her free time when she was not in school to go to events and help The Gift of Life.
The Gift of Life recognized this little girl with this Gift of Life Bear….
Jazlyn is the little girl that makes and sells the cute little hair bows. If you have not already purchased or ordered one please contact The Gift of Life to order yours. If you want to sponsor her so she can continue to buy the materials to make the bows that would be great!