My son, Johnny, was born 1 month premature. His original due date was January 20, 2012, but he shocked us all when my water broke at 2:09am on Christmas morning! A Christmas baby you ask? Yes! After 14 hours of labor with 1.5 hours of actual pushing, my baby boy arrived at 4pm on the dot. The whole NICU team was there and took him immediately to check him out, and very well prepared to take him to the NICU. Well, he beat the odds and his lungs were fully developed and he was a VERY healthy 7lbs 14oz, 20.5 inches baby boy.

Looking back on this beautiful yet scary day I realize how lucky we all were, however, premature birth in the U.S. is a much larger problem than I had ever expected, especially in Illinois. I wanted to help others in any way possible so I signed up to raise money and do the 5K walk from Grant Park all along Lake Shore Drive. The purple and white masses of people revealed such a strong sense of togetherness. The weather was a brisk 45 degrees and it was very windy (hence “Windy City”) but the sun was shining so brightly. With all of us standing and walking together you could just feel the warmth radiating from your heart. Since we live two miles from Grant Park, we decided to walk to the destination which gave us a grand total of 5.5 miles walked that day. In essence we got fit for a great cause!