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Good Morning Nashville!

February 3, 2010

Josh and John Tarpley from Baptist Hospital in Nashville

Josh and me with Nashville's beautiful Ambassador Family - Ellie, age 3 and her parents Ashley and Jimmy

Josh and I arrived in Tennessee greeted by cold snow and our warm host Todd Grantham, Tennessee State Communications Director for the March of Dimes!  Nashville was our first stop and their citywide March for Babies Kickoff was happening at Baptist Hospital first thing in the morning.  The snow and school closings all over the city didn’t keep those amazing supporters and volunteers away – Tennessee is known as the Volunteer State and I can see why.

The NICU Josh spent 3-1/2 months at after he was born four months early was at Baptist Hospital in Miami – and he was fascinated that this was the first place with the same name that he was going to on his tour this week!  Baptist Hospital in Nashville is the Presenting Sponsor for this year’s March for Babies and after taking pictures with some of the local teams from Kmart, Publix, and CIGNA, we met Ryder Lee, singer from The Lost Trailers who will be performing at Nashville’s March for Babies on April 18 at Centennial Park! 

Ryder Lee and his wife Jess had a preemie baby girl named Vivian.  They spent long days in the NICU watching their daughter fight for her life as so many other preemie parents do.  Now Vivian is five months old, healthy, and simply precious!  Josh had so much fun talking to Ryder who got down on his knee to hug him and show him his cool cowboy hat!  It’s hard not to be enthralled by this tall, handsome, genuine man who is so devoted to the March of Dimes for helping to save his baby girl.

Ryder Lee, singer, The Lost Trailers

As powerful as every moment was watching the events of this incredible Kickoff unfold, I was particularly moved by a concept that was presented in the Opening Remarks by the Program’s Host, John Tarpley.  He shared his wish and called it “The Tarpley Moment.”  It is the moment when prematurity stops and all babies are born healthy.  I believe that moment will come as I watched Tennessee’s amazing volunteers leave the morning’s rally with renewed energy and strong motivation to beat their Nashville fundraising goal of $600,000 so that “The Tarpley Moment” can happen.

– Melanie

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Martha Underwood permalink
    February 3, 2010 5:58 pm


    You were an inspiration to everyone who attended the Kick-Off meeting yesterday. We’re so glad you were able to see snow here in Tennessee. All of our prayers go with you as you continue on your journeys this year!

    Martha Underwood
    Baptist Hospital
    Nashville, TN

    • February 8, 2010 3:39 am

      Thank you so much! There’s a special place in my heart for everyone in Tennessee. You’re going to have an awesome walk and a banner year – I just know it because you all have what it takes to keep saving babies.

      Stay in touch 🙂

      Love always,

  2. Lynda Berretta permalink
    February 4, 2010 6:09 pm

    I had so much fun hanging out with you and your mom in Nashville. Thank you so much for coming to Tennessee and sharing your story. You are an inspiration to all of us!

    Keep Marching!

    • February 8, 2010 3:44 am

      Hi Lynda! You are one of the coolest people I know. Thanks for making snowballs with me. I will never forget our grand entrance into State Farm! Stay happy – I will, too!!!

      Lots of love,

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