Also....pass this on to all of your friends! Thank you so very, very much!!
Michele, Tony and kids
A dear friend pointed out that you all need the names and ages of all in the house...
Anthony (Tony) Sr. 43
Michele (me) 39 (shhhh.)
Tony Jr. 11
Kenny 2 (surviving twin to Nick)
Gina 10 months
This is what we sent for the nomination...
I am hoping that someone could help us. My name is Michele. My husband Tony and I had a set of twins in May of 2007. They were born at 23 weeks gestation...that's 17 weeks early. The doctors told us that if they came just a day prior, they would not be able to try to resuscitate them...but to Gods grace, they both made it into this world...for two days we were the proud parents of twin boys...both weighing just 1 lb. 7 oz....2 days later, our world came crashing down all around us. We watch as the doctors and nurses in the NICU at MetroHealth tried to work a miracle and keep our precious son, Nick from dying. With all the praying, wishing and hoping, he passed away...on May 4, 2007. We will always have a hole in our hearts and feel an emptiness that no parent should ever feel. Our surviving twin, Kenny is doing as well as he can. He is such a little miracle! He has very bad lung disease caused by months of being on the ventilator, which require oxygen and meds several times a day, so every time he gets sick, he usually ends up in the hospital. He also has developmental delays, feeding issues and moderate bilateral hearing loss and now a diagnosis of autism and Cerebral Palsy. He doesnt walk, talk (words), eat solids, hear or communicate very well. He bangs his head on everything! It is beyond comprehension. A mom should be able to help their child, and I cant. We are a family with many children...7 (living) to be exact...We love it and wouldnt trade it for the world. Our family includes... Myself 39, Tony my husband 43, Tony Jr. 11, Taylor 9, Morgan 8, Sydnie 5, Kayleigh 3, Kenny 2 and Gina 10 months. It a chaotic house, but I love the challenge! LOLOn top of juggling all of Kenny's doctor appts., PT/OT and his daily life routine of meds, We don't really get to do much as a family because Kenny cant be around too many people because of RSV season. So that is why most of the time, I am stuck in the house with the little ones, while Tony takes the older kids to things. It is a life that we never dreamed of having...nor wish upon anyone. Tony has his own sign business that he works out of our detached garage...he has been in business for about 10 years now. He has done work for the malls, police departments in several cities (our house is the one on Snow with the signs for the fallen police officers and the one to thank a police officer), the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, American Heart Assoc., local churches and schools and many, many local businesses. He puts his heart and soul into all his jobs and his clients. He is such a great guy. He is always thinking of others before himself. That is what made me fall in love with him! He has taken time to do things with the kids, go shopping, stay at the hospital when Kenny needs to be hospitalized, etc...on top of trying to make his sign business succeed. The economy and taking time for Kenny's appts, is taking a toll on his business. When I get a chance, I volunteer with the March Of Dimes at their events and help out at our school and church.So...now you kinda know the background...WE WANT TO NOMINATE OUR FAMILY for the show Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Our house is a little 1100 sq. ft. 3 bdrm home here in Parma, Ohio, that is in need of repairs and more space. It's just not very healthy for Kenny who needs space and special needs...not to mention how crammed we all are. He has a Gait Trainer that is helping him learn to use his leg muscles and between that and Gina's walker...it feels like bumper car central. His oxygen tanks are thrown in the front door area. There just isnt any space.We have used everything. The house is old and drafty, the walls are not insulated, the plumbing is cooroded, the wood on the outside of the house is rotted, the windows have mold and are broken, the floors inside are all broken, so we get splinters from the wood floors and cuts from the ceramic tiles that are shot. The lot floods in the spring and during rain storms, which mean his business (the garage) gets flooded all the time, on top of many other problems. The kids share bedrooms...2 bunk bed in one room a bed and a crib in another. In our room there is a crib and our bed. There is no where for our kids to have their own space or a place to play. Because we are on top of each other, they continually pass colds back and forth which could be life threatening for Kenny. We want the best for our kids, and because of the hospital bills and the constant care of our micro preemie, it is a tough thing to do.I sometimes wonder if the daily struggles are worth it, then I look at my son, who beat the odds, and think to myself that if he can do it, we can!
Please read our family's blog, the whole twin story with pictures...well, pretty much our life story is on there. What we go through day in and day out.
There is a petition online going to try to get our story on Extreme Makeover Home Edition (I know some say that it doesn't make a difference, but to see what others in the community and from all over have written, has to help in some way). It has over 800 signatures on it including the Mayor of Parma and many others.
We also have already filled out the application. We are hoping...well praying for a miracle!
We just want to get the story out to let others in our community know that we are trying to get on EMHE and to let people know that micro preemies that are born at 23 weeks CAN and DO survive. the doctors say that it is not how much a micro preemie weighs, but their gestational age...that makes it so dangerous and poor outcomes. But there are a lot of special needs, devotion, time, clean and healthy conditions, and much more that is needed...and in these times, raising a family with 7 kids, keeping a small business going and making sure our sick baby, who was was only given a 17% chance of survival (if that) has the best chances of having a healthy normal life, is very hard to do..Finacially, emotionally and physically!