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November 27, 2007

A Project X-Style Christmas

Steph2My best friend Ashlee and I met through blogging (of course!) and both of us had an instant unspoken bond due to struggles with our firstborn sons. My challenge, having a child with epilepsy, and hers was having a child almost not even born alive, period. A true Christmas miracle, our sweet best buddy Xavier. He was born in December 2005, 12 weeks too early. Today he is a healthy, active toddler and just pure sweetness.

Having spent 6 weeks in the NICU, among other later struggles, Ashlee and her husband David know all too well how it feels to spend Christmas in the hospital. And not just the hospital, but the NICU. A place that you are glad is there for the "just-in-case," but where you hope you never have to go.

Ashlee formed Project X to provide support and assistance to preemies and their families in Northwest Indiana. While the NICU is the best place for tiny babies, it is often a foreign and frightening experience.

Steph1Project X hopes to lighten the load by providing a network to turn to during those moments and the weeks, months, and years that follow. Project Xavier will continue with its 2nd Operation Christmas- providing traditional meals to local Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Northwest Indiana, reaching over 50 babies and more than 200 family members, doctors, nurses and staff, as well as bearing gifts for the little ones this Christmas.

I am at Ashlee's dispense this Christmas- hesitating to make my own family Christmas plans until I know just how I can be of use for Project X. I've spent Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, & New Year's Eve with my own children in the hospital. I know the emptiness and sadness of seeing a holiday celebrated within the confines of a hospital. One year our only visit with Santa was in the Children's Hospital lobby, with gifts given from under the hospital tree. And what those things meant to us... priceless. 

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