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Friday, September 2, 2011

Playing for Preemies

One of the neatest things about starting Melissa's Fund is the people we have met.

Rusty Bates and his wife, Kristin, are two of those people.

Rusty is the Athletic Director and Assistant Principal at Ardmore High School. 18 months ago, his wife Kristin gave birth to their beautiful daughter, Lauren. She was 12 weeks early and weighed just two pounds. She spent a lot of time in a Giraffe OmniBed purchased by the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund.

Lauren went on to spend 51 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children. She is now a very energetic and healthy little girl. And pretty adorable!

Last year, Rusty started "Playing for Preemies" at Ardmore High School. They sell t-shirts and raffle tickets - three lucky students get to the throw a pie at the principals! At the football game, NICU nurses are the honorary captains and get to go on the field. It's such a neat event!

Last year Chris and I went to the pep rally to talk to the students about the NICU and Melissa's Fund. We had such a great time, and decided we wanted to take the girls this year!

They had such a blast! It was their first pep rally and they loved watching the cheerleaders dance and listening to the band. And it was so neat seeing all of the cheerleaders and so many of the students wearing "Playing for Preemies" shirts with the Melissa's Fund logo.

But most importantly, I loved that they got to see *firsthand* how generous people are. I love that they got to see an example of how Melissa's Fund is helping babies. I just so love that they are now old enough to go on this journey with us!!

Thank you Rusty and Kristin Bates for your passion for our NICU!! And thank you students at Ardmore High School for supporting Melissa's Fund!

***A post on this year's Swim for Melissa is coming soon! I have been waiting for the official total - and it's so good!! Can't wait to share :)

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