What 800 million people don't have access to...


Not what you were expecting to read, was it? Yet it's true. Over 800 million people worldwide do not have access to clean and safe water. Something we use way too much of every single day here in the US. According to WaterAid, an organization that helps provide water to people in developing countries; 2000 children a day die because they cannot reach water.

Founded in 1981, WaterAid transforms lives by helping the world’s poorest people gain access to safe water and sanitation. Together with local organizations, communities and individuals, WaterAid uses affordable and locally appropriate solutions to provide safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene education to people in developing countries.

Thankfully, WaterAid has 27 programs across the world, helping bring safe and clean water to those who need it most.
They are offering the gift of life through your choice of the following contributions:

$25 buys safe, clean water for one person, for life.
$50 buys 4 faucets for a village water point
$100 buys a handpump for a community
$150 buys a community their own well, securing water permanently.

Please help. There are so many people who can benefit from your donation. There are many, many times I find myself complaining about an inconvenience like having to log back into my Facebook, or forgetting my email password, or how my fridge "isn't big enough". My best friend and I call them "first world problems". Whenever we find ourselves whining about something so silly and trivial, we just say "first world problem!" and stop complaining. We have it so good, all of us. We have warm homes, running water, a vehicle, a job, etc. To whine about the small things like how my ipad doesn't take good pictures is really just pathetic. 
Now that I've jumped off my soap box...if you do nothing else, simply share this post and hopefully someone will hear this message and step up to help make a difference.
Do it for these people..

I wrote this as part of the Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger, and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this worlds a better place for our children and the world's children.
Follow us on Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook for the latest Global Team news.

Ask Pregnancy and Newborn magazine to write about CHD awareness week

I love the Internet. It allows me to contact groups that could really help spread awareness on a broad scale.

Through Twitter I asked Pregnancy and Newborn magazine if they would be covering CHD awareness week and they said "most likely".
Sooooo to help encourage them to definitely post about CHD, I am asking everyone to send them a short and sweet email, showing your support and passion about this very important topic.

Feel free to copy and paste the following, just be sure to add your own story:

Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine,

I am writing in the hopes that you will feature an article about Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Week. It begins February 7th till the 14th and is a very important topic to me. 

----insert personal story----

CHD is the most common birth defect and affects over 40,000 babies each year in the US. Spreading awareness of CHD can literally save lives and I hope that you will join us in educating parents about this. I hope that you will also mention pulse oximetry. Pulse ox is a test that screens for heart defects and helps prevent babies from going home undetected. Pulse ox is saving lives in the 7 states that have implemented screening, but we all need to push for the rest of the country to follow suite and I know that your readers can help us do that.

Thank you for helping us make a difference,

Yours truly,


Email it to: editor@pnmag.com.

Now go and share with your friends!

A look into our day to day life

I realize I don't post a lot about my personal life. I realize that a lot of my updates are sad and involve sick babies or precious CHD angels. I realize that my life is dedicated to advocacy and awareness and that sometimes that isn't all sunshine and rainbows.

That does not mean that I don't want to share my life! So to step out of my comfort zone for a minute and let you see what I normally do day to day...here are some pictures.

My first born, Monkey, with his line of trucks, trains, and other vehicles behind him.

Here's a shot from Christmas with Monkey and my mom. He's playing with his new train set he got from my in-laws.

Here's a completely lucky shot I got of Monkey just a few days ago. The light is uh.mazing. 

Here is a webcam photo of Monkey and I. Please ignore the lack of makeup.

One of my favorite photos of my boys. Look how they even lean to the right the same way!

Here are our horses, Lucy (left) and Ricky (right). 

Here is a shot taken by our pond; our house is waaaaay back where that light is shining. 

Here is what a foggy morning looks like from my back porch.

Our silly dog Daisy...

The woods behind my house.

A foggy sunrise...

And finally, a random compilation of Instagram photos that show what life around this place is like. :)

Hope you enjoyed :)

Support mothers in Uganda

This month, as part of the Global Team of 200, one of my blog topics is how to support birthing mothers in Uganda. This is a fantastic resource that I hope you take the time to read about.

In a world where not everyone is guaranteed a safe birth, medical attention, insurance, or testing; this organization is so important for mothers who are trying to have a safe and healthy birth. 

The Shanti Uganda Society improves infant and maternal health, provides safe women-centered care and supports the well-being of birthing mothers and women living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda.

The program also offers women the opportunity to work for themselves. They currently have 21 mothers and grandmothers who have been given the training and skills needed to secure a monthly income for themselves. The products they make are sold in North America with profits going directly to the women and the programs established in their area.

In addition, they also receive:

  • Monthly workshops on savings and financial training, literacy skills, business skills
  • A bicycle to travel to work and back
  • Health supplements and access to all services at the Shanti Uganda Birth House
  • Ongoing goal setting support
  • A Garden club for all members of Shanti Uganda’s Women’s Income Generating Group, increasing their access to land and food security
  • Onsite Community Garden providing fresh vegetables to all antenatal, labouring and postnatal clients
  • Monthly Community Garden workshops for clients and community members covering nutrition, organic gardening techniques, sustainable agriculture and food preparation
Want to help? You can! The graphics below are just two of the options you have. Simply visit this link to find out more!

You can also follow Shanti Uganda on Facebook or Twitter.

Newborn screening webinar: join now!

A fantastic way to learn more about a certain topic is to join a webinar.
You are able to ask questions and talk to real people about issues that may be happening to you right now. I have joined my fair share in the last year and I really enjoy them mainly because I feel like I'm actually learning something instead of just reading an article that you will soon forget.

The Global Genes Project is one of the world's leading organizations for rare and genetic diseases. According to their website, there are over 7,000 rare diseases in the world, and 1 in 10 people in the world suffer from one of them.

During 2013, they will be hosting a series of webinars geared towards education and spreading the word about the RARE community. The first of which will be about newborn screening.

 "Many more diseases can be detected at birth than are currently part of the newborn screening panels in each state. Join us for a vibrant discussion and to learn more about why the states have different screening panels, how a particular screen can become part of your state’s NBS panel, how the federal SACHDNC panel influences state screening, and the importance of renewing the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007."

It's really easy to join, just click here and you will be taken to the registration page.

This webinar is a chance for you to become better educated on the process and meet some influential people in the newborn screening community. One of which is a fellow workforce member, Bill, who runs Grey's Gift Memorial Foundation, an amazing non profit organization that was established after the death of his son Greyson. Had Greyson had a simple heel prick, his life threatening Krabbe Disease would have been caught. But thanks to the very hard work of his parents, there is now a law named after Greyson that added 24 screenings to the Texas newborn screening panel; ranking them among the top 7 states in the country, screening for 52 conditions.

There is limited space so sign up now! And help me spread the word by sharing on Facebook and Twitter.

January is Birth Defects Prevention month

I know this is a little late, so forgive me!

January is Birth Defects Prevention month and in honor of that, I will be sharing some resources and facts about birth defects and how to prevent them.

Every 4.5 minutes, a baby is born with birth defects. Most of you know from following this blog that of those birth defects, heart defects are the most common; but what you may not know is that cleft lip, Down syndrome, and spina bifida are the next common defects. There are thousands of possible birth defects; some are caused by genetic conditions, but many have no know cause.

Did you know that 1 in 33 babies are born with a birth defect?
That is over 120,000 babies born each year in the US with a birth defect.

Birth defect: a health condition present at birth that changes the shape or function of one or more parts in the body; they can cause health problems, changes in development, or how the body functions.

According to the National Birth Defects Prevention Network, the following are some things you can do to help prevent birth defects:
-reach and maintain a healthy weight
-talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking before trying to conceive
-avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs
-avoid toxic substances at home and at work
-know your family history and seek genetic counseling if needed
-consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily

    **Folic acid is one of the only proven ways to help prevent birth defects, yet only 1/3 of women know this. It turns out, January 6-12 is Folic Acid Awareness Week (who knew!) and the March of Dimes takes that time to remind every women that folic acid is the best preventative of birth defects. Taking folic acid daily is so important because during the earliest stages of pregnancy, before you know you are expecting, is one of the most critical times in development. Since half of pregnancies are unexpected, it is an easy habit to help ensure a healthy baby.

According to the March of Dimes, over 8 million children a year, around the world, are born with a serious birth defect and over 3 million of them die from their defects. Some die due to lack of care or resources, but it doesn't have to be that way. "Experience from high-income countries shows that overall mortality and disability from birth defects could be reduced by up to 70 percent..."

By working together and spreading awareness, we can literally save lives.
Please, take a minute to share information about birth defects and the life saving properties of folic acid. In our day to day lives, we lose track of the broader picture and that is why awareness months are so important. If we all band together during this one month and share and talk with our friends, we can reach those who need to hear it and hopefully make a difference!

Feel free to download these fliers and share them with your friends

For a list of resources, visit here; it includes information about birth defects, family support groups and organizations, as well as genetic counseling and health information.

We did it!

I can now say, without doubt or hesitation, that I have created a non profit fund in Corbin's name. 

Oh wow.

I can't thank you all enough, as I could not have done it without your donations. Even though we still have quite a bit of fundraising to do, the foundation I am under has been so cooperative and I can happily say we are official! We can now accept donations as tax exempt and grants (which is UH.MAZING)! I had originally set a goal of becoming official by Corbin's birthday, February 20th, and we have reached it already!! I am so proud and am overwhelmed by the support and the love that continues to be shown to me, almost two years after Corbin passed away. I love you all and thank you, thank you, thank you!!

2013 is the year for education!

As I was scrolling through my Instagram feed this morning, I came across a post that really got me thinking:

What is your word for 2013?

"What is my word?" I thought to myself. I couldn't answer right away. But I have decided on one.


For me, 2013 is about education and I can't wait to get started! This year is all about setting up a fund in honor of Corbin that will have the following goals:
-donate a percentage of all donations directly to CHD research.
-establish an educational class for parents about heart defects, pulse ox, and newborn screening.
-continue distributing educational material about heart defects and pulse ox.
-establish a better quality website that will include my blog as well as the Fund's progress, goals, and fundraising efforts.

I have a very good feeling about this year. This will be the year that goals will be reached and dreams will come true. I am full of motivation and excitement!

What are your goals for this year? Have you thought of a word that describes your goals? Share them with us in the comments.

Happy New Year!

***If you would like to contribute to The Corbin Story Fund, please check out the bumper stickers I designed to help raise money for the Fund! You can see a preview to the right of this post>>>>>