Friday, April 20, 2012

A Night at the Pizza Ranch...

Finally, the blog has come back to the internets!!! Sorry, that was dramatic. It was the best I could come up with after not doing a post for two months.

As you all may know, the March for Babies is coming up next month, and we have been going all out with our fundraising efforts. Monday, we held one of this year’s larger events at the Pizza Ranch in Ames. What a wonderful opportunity Pizza Ranch provided us!  We would like to say thank you to everyone who came out to have some good pizza and support Team Kamps3. Angie and I tried very hard to visit with all who attended but inevitably missed some of you.  The event went well, and we raised over $1000 for the March of Dimes! A big thanks to Aaron and Blakely Mortvedt for doing the legwork to get the event set up. Also many thanks to Susie, Craig, Elizabeth, and Grandma Janet for bussing tables all night and earning those tips!

There was a lot of activity at the Pizza Ranch, but there were some very touching moments that really impacted us. We got to catch up with another triplet family we have met since the girls were born. It was good to see their girls, and  meet their little brother. And get this, their mom brought all four of them *by herself!*. Yeah, 4 kids, under three, all the way to Ames from Lohrville. Alone. Shannon Hobbs, I salute you. Your children are delightful and we hope to see you again soon!  We also had a very nice conversation with the manager of Pizza Ranch, who after hearing our story, generously donated out of his own pocket in addition to the business donation of 10% of the evenings sales.  I tell you what, Pizza Ranch truly is a wonderful business that supports its community and charitable organizations.  This is a fundraiser we hope to continue with for years to come.

We were completely blown away by the generosity of one particular customer. As we were approaching the end of our fundraiser, Angie’s aunt walked over and handed me $300 cash. I asked where it came from, and she told me it came from a dad of 9-year-old twins, who were 25 weekers. Angie and I went over to talk to him and learned he was from Minnesota, just passing through town. He’ll probably never see this, but thank you random customer, we can’t express our gratitude.  It is amazing to me how God orchestrated a random encounter that meant so much.  What are the odds that this gentleman would pass throw town of that very night and stop at that very restaurant and have so much in common…wow.  Very, very cool.

There is just under a month left until the walk, and there are still plenty of opportunities to donate to the March of Dimes. There is a bake sale at a vendor show in Nevada on Saturday, April 28th, as well as team t-shirts to purchase if you haven’t already (deadline is Monday, April 23. Information can be found on our facebook page, or by contacting Angie. There is also the matter of Angie’s facebook fundraising challenge. Her goal is to raise $3000 on her personal page. If she hits that, I will in fact be wearing a tutu the day of the walk. So if you want to see the manliest of men sporting the prettiest of pretties (there will be shorts underneath, nobody wants to see that), please visit her personal page to donate.

Thank you to all our team members that are working hard to raise donations for the March of Dimes!  We greatly appreciate you efforts.  If you have donated, please know we are incredibly grateful for your gift.  If you have yet to do so, there is still time to make a difference in the lives of sweet babies, I urge you to consider a gift.  Having gone through what our family has, every family I can help to avoid premature birth, is worth all the work we put into March of Dimes fundraising.

Things have been busy at our house even without all of the March of Dimes activities. We hit the Easter Egg hunt in Slater at the beginning of the month. I don’t know if the girls quite understood, but they each got a couple of pretty eggs, and were happy. Dad got some candy out of it, so he was happy too. We made it to church for the first time this year on Easter (we have had to miss during cold/flu season), then spent the day with family, hunting Easter eggs and chasing bubbles. Man, do we love bubbles at our house. I think we spent the entire day outside, I’ve never seen them so tired, but they sure did have a good time playing.

We do have some less exciting news. Brenna is going in for surgery on Monday, April 23rd. We visited our neurosurgeon in February to discuss Brenna and her MRI results. The scan showed two large cysts in the third and fourth ventricles of her brain which are making it difficult for her shunt to drain the extra fluid.  After consulting with several other top children’s hospitals, the surgeon has determined the best course of action is to revise her shunt to allow two catheters, joined by a Y-connector, to drain through her current device. The area of the brain that is being affected by the pressure this extra fluid is causing has a direct link to balance and coordination. The surgeon expects to see improvement in both areas for Brenna once the surgery is done and the shunt settings are tweaked to where they need to be. Hopefully, this will fix the issues Brenny has been having with her balance and gross motor skills. So please keep Brenna in your thoughts and prayers next week for an uneventful procedure and speedy recovery.  To say that we are burnt out on surgeries and complications from the girls’ premature delivery is a massive understatement.  This just goes to show that even once you’ve survived the rollercoaster in the NICU, the effects of premature birth do not go away, it will continue to be a battle we must face throughout their lives…this is what we hope to prevent for other families.

We look forward to getting out more now that RSV/flu season is officially over. Hopefully you can join us on May 12th for the March for Babies in Des Moines. We are going to try to update the blog a little more regularly this summer, but I emphasize try, and I make no guarantees, unless you want to watch toddlers while I type ;)…

Brad, Angie, Anna, Brenna, and Lucy Kamps