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Today is my nephew’s birthday. A birthday, in general, is a day to celebrate the gift of life with family and friends. It is a good day to reflect back on the previous year(s) and remind ourselves that life moves at wharp speed.

Life Moves Fast

My nephew, Noah, turns 10 today, and while we all celebrate the fact that Noah is in our life, we are also reminded of the fact that today is also the day that his mother, our beloved sister, lost her life today as well; giving birth to Noah.

Kim lost her life due to an Amniotic Fluid Embolism (AFE). This is a very rare complication and the mortality rate is high, but getting better every year. The issue with an AFE is that the medical community has yet to find out a direct cause, and causation is the first step to finding a treatment and all but eradicating the mortality rate. Since this is one of the top 5 mortalities in childbirth, the attention to researching this issue is on the medical communities radar.

In todays age of modern technology and medical advancements, we tend to forget the miracle that childbirth really is. Women head in to the delivery room, go through labor (please do not take this as it is easy and not painful), and bring another life into this world…easy as 1, 2, 3 medically speaking right? Well, no not really. There are a myriad of “complications” that can take place. Usually things go as planned and when issues to rear their ugly head, the hospital staff is well equipped to deal with it to keep mom and baby safe. For this we should all be grateful.

I ask that you consider looking in to what you can do to contribute to helping us fight the AFE “battle”. The Northshore University System here in Chicago is asking for help in dealing with AFE research.

The Need For More ResearchAmniotic Fluid Embolism kills or injures several hundred mother-baby pairs in the United States every year. Research is needed to understand the cause of the disease so that it can be prevented or more effectively treated. Yet the importance of AFE extends far beyond its devastated victims. At the present, there are no broadly accepted theories or mechanisms explaining how women can tolerate the presence of their fetus—50% of which comes from an unrelated father.

To make a tax deductable donation simple click on the link below and under gift designation, check off, “research institute.” Under gift comments, simply indicate “AFE research.”

Here is the direct link: https://www.northshore.org/apps/auxfound/MakeDonation.aspx?lid=2246

And, more importantly, always remember that a birthday is more than just a time to get together. It is about celebrating all the joy your loved ones have brought into your life. Be thankful that you are rich, for rich doesn’t come from money, rather it comes from health. And celebrating a birthday means that the “riches” of your family and friends have lasted another year!

So, Happy Birthday Noah. We love you very much. And Kim, we miss you and think of you often. Thank you for the gift you have given us in Noah.

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