November 16th marks not only the first ever Bee Something for Bee Mighty Fundraiser, but also a triumphant celebration of how far our family has come.
Rewind almost three years ago to find two terrified parents at the unexpected delivery of their second son, thirteen weeks prematurely.
Our son, the mighty Shaw Richter, was born at 27 weeks weighing just over two pounds and was 13 inches long. He suffered a stroke at birth, which would require two brain surgeries before he was 2 months old. During his 122 days in Novant’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Shaw endured meningitis, life support, blood transfusions, surgeries for a narrow airway disorder, Chronic Lung Disease and twenty-two spinal taps. He has a permanent device in his brain that drains excess fluid to his abdomen to manage hydrocephalus (water on the brain). Shaw’s first diaper was the size of a credit card.
We spent months watching our fragile infant grow into one of the tiniest warriors. Weeks went by before we could hold him and he was over a year old before he no longer required equipment to keep him alive.
Finally, Shaw was able to come home from the NICU to meet his big brother, Nash. There simply aren’t words to describe having our family together, under one roof. To learn more about Shaw, visit: www.mightyshaw.blogspot.com.
We quickly learned that the battle for our son was just beginning. We were not prepared for the amount of energy, tenacity and dedication it was going to take to be an advocate for our special needs child. Premature babies are at risk for many long-term health issues and disabilities such as:
– Cerebral palsy
– Breathing and respiratory issues
– Vision and hearing loss and impairments
– Feeding, speech and digestive challenges
– Developmental delays and learning disabilities
– Cognitive, social and emotional disorders
Therapy and equipment are tools used to identify, intervene and support the challenges these babies face, allowing them to meet their potential and have the best quality of life. Not many people realize that required Post-NICU therapies and medical equipment quickly outpace most private insurance coverage. Some families have to forego these greatly needed therapies, simply because they cannot afford them. Therapy and equipment during the first years of a micropreemie’s life are critical. As in Shaw’s case, we quickly realized that we were not the only parent’s with a preemie and mounting expenses. In the summer of 2012, Bee Mighty was established.
Bee Mighty is a fund managed by the Novant Health Foundation, to provide a reprieve for other families following in our footsteps. Bee Mighty provides therapy and medical equipment to NICU survivors battling significant medical challenges.
Bee Mighty has made it possible for families to get the care their babies need to promote healthy development, which is so critical for preemies. Bee Mighty was established so that families can focus on each other and concentrate on the development of their child without the added stress of financial ruin.
To date, Bee Mighty has raised $60,000 and began funding its first babies in 2013. The first ‘Mighty Bee’ was a nonverbal four-year-old, born 15 weeks prematurely. He is an enthusiastic learner and developmentally delayed due to his extreme prematurity. Bee Mighty provided Music Therapy for a year for this child, where he began to express himself for the first time, by humming through his tracheotomy.
This November 16th, Bee Mighty is holding its inaugural Bee Something for Bee Mighty Fundraiser, presented by The Charlotte Bobcats. Go to www.beesomethingforbeemighty.com to purchase tickets.
Bee Something for Bee Mighty is an exclusive lifestyle auction and event, held at the Charlotte Country Club, full of fabulous prizes, dinner and music by The Bad Daddies.
Bee Jeweled… by $3,000 in diamonds by Diamonds Direct.
Bee a Beach Bum… In a luxurious, seven bedroom private beach home.
Bee a Rock Star… With dinner and VIP seating at a concert of your choice.
Bee Gourmet… By signature a signature chef, as he cooks a three course meal for you and your friends in your home.
Bee Babied… With carseats and strollers from Britax.
Mostly, Bee Surprised… by countless other gracious donations, auction and raffle items.
It is bound to be an evening of education, excitement and celebration of our tiniest warriors!
If you know a child that may be interested in applying for Bee Mighty funds, please visit our website www.beemighty.org.
Thank you for your support of these precious preemies.
You can find Bee Mighty at:
Fundraiser Event Details & Ticket Purchase: www.beesomethingforbeemighty.com