POSTS WITH TAG: charitable causes

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    4-year-old Eliza O'Neill is not your average little girl. She likes to play with her brother, watch cartoons, sing and dance, and a thousand other things little kids like to do -- but instead of progressing and growing with her peers, she's slowly going to lose her bodily functions.

    Eliza has Sanfilippo Syndrome, which is a genetic condition that "makes the body unable to properly break down long chains of sugar molecules called glycosaminoglycans." What that means is that over the course of the next few years, she will lose her talk and walk, and will develop seizures before she eventually dies. She is not expected to make it to her teens.

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    Most of the time, I love being a working mom. I work because it puts food on our table (and in my daughter's belly), but also because I find it fulfilling. But a long day at work drains you. And then you come home to your child and still want to give them your all as a mother. 

    If you ever get the feeling that your quality time with your kiddo is being sucked away by the time you spend making dinner, doing laundry, and running the bathtub, join the club.

    And then stop worrying about it. There are plenty of ways to be a working mom and still stay connected with your child, even after a long day at work. Sometimes you just need to think a little out of the box:

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    This post is sponsored by Target.

    For more than a decade, Target has supported the St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving children. Target’s remarkable dedication to the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® began in 1996 with the company’s commitment to build the hospital’s long-term residential facility, which was designed to be a home away from home for patients and their families. Since opening in 1999, Target House has been a place of comfort for more than 1,500 families as their children battle cancer and other deadly diseases at St. Jude.

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    Four-year-old Dyrk Burcie has terminal cancer. What started out as a lump in his abdomen turned out to be pediatric liver cancer, and that cancer has spread to his lungs. The prognosis looks dark for this sweet little boy. And that's why people are flocking to Facebook to send him messages of love.

    It started out with photos from father Dameon's firefighter colleagues. They send Dyrk images of his name in flames, others with his name spelled out by people in uniform -- and soon there was a Facebook page with dozens of photos from all over spelling out Dyrk's name and sending the boy best wishes and love for the last months of his life.

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    Imagine if your 2-year-old had cancer. Not only would you be helping her fight the disease and the horrible effects of treatment, you would also have to protect her from infection. Chemotherapy suppresses the body's immune system, making patients extremely vulnerable to infections and diseases. For kids undergoing cancer treatment, this means no more playdates with other children -- and months, even years of painful isolation. This is the harsh reality for many children with cancer.

    But Nancy Zuch could not accept that. She wanted more for her daughter Morgan, who was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 2. So she founded The Morgan Center, a preschool just for kids with cancer.

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    The statistics never seem to budge, but the Million Moms Challenge just might bring the tragic numbers down: Every 90 seconds around the world, a woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth; 1.5 million newborns die within the first 24 hours of life; and as many as 3.3 million die before they turn 1 month old.

    The saddest thing is, most of these deaths can be prevented. It's just a matter of sharing the knowledge we have as moms here in America with moms around the globe.

    In the US, we have so much knowledge that we take it for granted and let slight differences in opinion (pacifier or no pacifier? co-sleep or sleep train?) set us apart. Most of the things we disagree on as moms in this country are, in fact, a luxury -- can you imagine if the hardest part of being a mom was merely keeping your baby alive?

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  • When a Father Dies, How Does Mom Go On?

    posted by April Peveteaux August 22, 2011 at 7:15 PM in Toddler
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    It's one of those questions that keeps me up at night: What would happen if my husband were no longer here? As a working mom, modern woman, and daughter to a single mom (for a period of time), one would think that I'd have all of this figured out. Financially, anyway. Emotionally I would never be able to figure it out. But when looking at the nitty gritty of raising two children to successful adulthood, it's terrifying to realize that 75% of our household income would disappear along with my husband, if god forbid, anything were to ever happen to him.

    It's what Brooklyn mom, Jennie Perillo, is facing right now. Her husband Mikey died suddenly of a heart attack two weeks ago leaving her alone to parent her 3- and 8-year-old daughters

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    We have all seen the pictures and read the articles about celebrity kids. Heck, we write them here at The Stir. How late Suri Cruise stays up, what outfit Kingston Rossdale is decked out in, who is having a playdate with whom. We follow what celebrities and their kiddos are doing ... and face it, some of us (me included) buy a raincoat or grab a t-shirt because we saw Knox Jolie-Pitt wearing it.

    What other celeb trends have been followed: the lavish birthday party. I have been to a few. Reports say Suri Cruise didn't have a huge blow-out this year, but who can forget her birthday soiree when she turned 2 ... which supposedly cost $100,000. Yes, that is the correct number of zeros, folks. And she isn't the only celeb kid having expensive parties.

    But you know, I think, I hope, I wish another trend was started ...

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    Tomorrow is Earth Day, and our planet will get some much-need attention and extra love as events are held across the country. It's a great time to reflect on our resources and what we can do to preserve them.

    But what about the rest of the year? Sure, we may recycle here and there, but are we really doing everything we can to do our part? There are plenty of other little things we can do in our day-to-day lives that make a big difference, but too often we're too busy, or too lazy, or just don't know what to do.

    Ian James Corlett is the author of E Is for Environment: Stories to Help Children Care for Their World -- at Home, at School, and at Play. He shares five things all families can do to keep our earth green and clean:

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    April is Autism Awareness Month, and there are a zillion ways to show your support: runs, walks, concerts, and even comedy shows work to raise money for more research and more awareness. It's rare that a home is not touched by autism, whether through friends or family, so we all need to get involved in raising worldwide awareness.

    Donating to any one of the rad organizations is a great way to help bring attention to autism and offer financial help to the cause. But what's also fun is buying cute stuff that has another huge benefit besides looking good on you, your child, or in your purse. Here's a roundup of five of the best autism awareness items in toddler and mom gear out there.

    Spread the word!

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