Adding It Up for Addie

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Please don’t tell the Normal Mormon Wife, but I have tender feelings for another woman.

Well, she’s not so much a woman as a girl, really. Now before you hit the panic button and think this is some crazy R. Kelley meets Governor Sanford post that I’m typing from a beach in Rio de Janiero, let me explain.

The girl I am speaking about is named Addie.

Addie is not an exotic, eloquent Argentine beauty with an affinity for South Carolina governors like the one we have been recently reading about. In fact, Addie is still mastering basic skills like walking and speaking, let alone composing love letters and dancing the rumba.

That’s because Addie is only three years old and was has battled cerebral palsy with epilepsy since birth, causing developmental delays in crawling, standing, walking and speaking. Addie is in my ward and it always makes me smile to see her snazzy Sunday hairdo’s, bright smile, soft handshake, and watching her ramble down the hall as she develops her ability to walk. Knowing what a special little girl Addie is made it nearly impossible for me to comprehend a phone call I received from a ward member last April:

“Addie almost died today. She had prolonged seizures. Her heart stopped beating. She is in the ICU....”

How grateful I am to a loving Heavenly Father who, in his tender mercy, allowed Addie to regain her strength and begin the recovery process. She was able to return home to the loving care of her father and mother, Tom and Kelly. And, I’m happy to report, Addie is back at church and smiling and shaking hands and rambling down the halls just like she used to.

And that is what is most important. Addie is back home and progressing. She will still need a lot of care and attention, but she is on the road to recovery.

But the care and attention Addie received in the ICU came at a cost. Addie’s seizure happened while she and her mom, Kelly, traveled from North Carolina to Utah to visit family. All of the medical care Addie received was out-of-network and the bills are more than the family is able manage. Almost anybody reading this post would be in the same predicament if this emergency had happened to us.

It has been inspiring to see how members of our ward have given Christlike service in rallying around Addie and her family. Donations, fund raisers, yard sales, and service projects have been held in the family’s behalf. Tom bore his testimony earlier this month in sacrament meeting to express the family’s gratitude for the love they have been shown. It was one of the most touching testimonies I have heard in a long time.

Tom and Kelly are very similar to those of you who read this blog. They are both college educated. They both work hard to support their young family, Tom full-time and Kelly via home-based businesses called Vinyl Expressions and Lil' Boo. They both love the Lord and serve in demanding church callings. They are both RM’s. And, just like each of us in our own ways, they are experiencing the trials of life.

I have set up a fund to collect donations to give to the family for Addie's ICU bills and for her care going forward. Based on the number of regular visitors to this blog, the NMH community could quickly raise several hundred dollars if modest contributions in the $5-$10 are made. You can contribute more if you are able, but even small amounts will be a blessing. Contributions can be made via a quick Paypal transaction by clicking the "DONATE" logo below. If you have felt inspired to help, please do so today. You will be a blessing to this sweet little girl and her wonderful parents.

I can envision the day when Addie, as a beautiful young woman, gets a snazzy hair-do, puts on a formal dress, smiles widely, and heads off to her first high school dance.

I bet she’ll even dance a pretty mean rumba by then.

Thank you for helping.

<- Click to help Addie!

Like the site? Grahamtastic Stickers and
Husband Hero help make it possible. Why don't you advertise on NHM, too?


Megan said...

Times are tough for everyone right now. I'm not sure I can afford to help, but I did. A little can go along way--and if we can all sacrifice to Pay It Forward a little bit... Why not?

Who will join me?

10:18 PM
Lalis said...

As soon as the new debit card gets here, I'm donating something!

Thank you for posting this... A reminder of the importance of serving others was just what I needed tonight as I am stressed out about the YSA river trip I am in charge of this weekend... which has made me want to bite the head off of almost every member in my ward. Especially my co-chair.

Really... this has made a difference in my mood. Thank you again and I will be making my donation ASAP.

10:30 PM
The "D" Family said...

Thank you Andrew. I know Addie looks forward to shaking your hand on Sunday too! We are so grateful for the love and support of friends and strangers alike. Addie is a special little girl. And we love her!

6:17 AM
Pam said...

I donated some- and once I talk to MY NMH I may be donating more. Thanks for sharing with us. It's nice to know I am helping someone who really does need it. Good luck Addie, my prayers are with you and your family.

7:44 AM

Wow! What a generous group of people you are.

There have already been 14 contributions and the total is approaching $175. Thank you for your compassion and generosity to each of you who have donated.

It is amazing what the NMH crew can do when we spend our time doing something more productive than debating the merits Shawn Bradley's career and whether or not Edward from Twilight can pass gas.

Keep it up! I will give a few more updates later.

10:16 AM
shelley said...

i think you have officially redeemed yourself from being an icky hr manager with this post. :)

go nmh fundraiser, go!

and the new blog format looks great. i can see how you've been spending your nights without your family around! ha!

3:43 PM
Amie said...

sweet, I'll do a little bit to help.

8:04 PM

UPDATE - After the first 24 hours there have been 19 generous donors who have contributed nearly $250. You guys rock! The $5 here and $10 there are Adding Up For Addie. Thank you all and let's keep it going!

8:15 PM
Alyssa said...

Happy to help with what I can. Also, I like the new layout, but how do I go back to read past dear diary entries that I might have missed? Am I just not seeing it?

8:26 PM

Alyssa - I added the link to the Dear Diary archive. Thanks for the heads up. That was one of the little glitches from switching to the new layout.

9:38 PM
amy said...

I hope our donations can help. We wish Addie and her family all the best!

12:46 PM
Heather said...

I'm pretty sure this is the very least we could do after all the enjoyment we've gotten out of reading your blog. And it's a great reminder and opportunity to serve. Thanks for that.

3:59 PM
andrea said...
This comment has been removed by the author. 10:00 PM

Update - At the end of Day 2: Nearly $400 from 27 generous donors. You guys rock the kazbah! Thank you!

10:02 PM

UPDATE-Now standing at 29 donors and over $400! Thank you!

7:58 AM

UPDATE - It looks like most people who were going to donate have done so. Thank you to the 30 generous people who contributed nearly $430 to help Addie and her family. It is a privilege to "virtually" know so many caring, compassionate people. Thank you!

4:32 PM
Mom said...

I work for a health insurance administrator and the family should be able to negotiate payment through the insurance with a "one time special contract" to pay as if they were in network. We do it all the time for emergent situations like this. Have them call their health insurance and ask. If they say no, ask to talk to a supervisor. If they can't help you ask for their supervisor, etc. It is done on a regular basis. Good luck to the family.

3:11 PM