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Candy Land – from Polio to Prematurity

March 3, 2010

Our Candy Land gift from Hasbro and all of the other committee people working on the Citizen of the Year event on June 17 at the Aldrich Mansion in Rhode Island.

Candy Land is one of mine and Alex’s favorite games.  Today I found out a woman named Eleanor Abbot from San Diego, California made the game and it was produced by Milton Bradley a long long time ago in 1949. Eleanor had Polio and as she was getting better from it she wanted to make something that would bring happiness to all children who had the disease. 

Since the March of Dimes funded the research that cured Polio, Martin from Hasbro toys thought it would be a great gift to give to me and Alex this morning when we met him.  It’s so cool that the Candy Land game has made so many kids happy for so many years – kids with Polio and kids who were Preemies like me!

Martin and some other people had a meeting today to plan their 13th Citizen of the Year event that is happening on June 17 at the Aldrich Mansion in Warwick, Rhode Island.  The person picked for this year’s Citizen of the Year is Deborah Thomas who is the CFO of Hasbro.

Pat DiMario is one of the people on the committee.  She’s from Women and Infant Hospital and she used to work in a NICU a long time ago – like in the 1970’s.  Myra Edens (another person helping out) did, too, in Gainesville, Florida.  That must have been very different than it is today.  And Mary Sadlier is the head of the event with her husbandl  They also gave my Mom a really nice gift.  She got a pair of earrings that were made by the Moms in the NICU at Women and Infant Hospital.  The Moms get together a lot at the hospital to make scrapbooks and things for their babies in the NICU.  It’s part of the NICU Family Support Program through the March of Dimes.  My mom loves the earrings- they have crystal Stars (the crystals were donated by Swarovski!) and blue gemstones.  They are so special and my Mom put them on right away before we took our group photo.  She looked so beautiful!

Women and Infant Hospital was having their Kickoff this morning.  So we went back to meet everyone and share our story.  Dr. James Padbury made an announcement about a new grant they just received from the March of Dimes for research they will do at Brown University.  I can’t wait to hear what they find out.

Betsy Akin was showing everyone at Women and Infant Hospital that my picture was in the Providence Journal today with Rep. Eileen Naughton at the Statehouse yesterday!

Here I am giving Pat DiMario a big kiss because she gave me a big bag as a gift from her hospital.

The amazing doctors and nurses and staff at Women and Infant Hospital who work hard to make sure babies are born healthy and that preemies survive and thrive.

Then we went to United Healthcare – they are the Presenting Sponsors for March for Babies this year and they were having a Kickoff.  There were so many balloons and the room looked so colorful and bright!  We met Scott and Eric who were so nice and are so excited to raise money as a March for Babies Team. 

United Healthcare is the Presenting Sponsor for March for Babies in Providence this year. They're an awesome group!

We were also interviewed in one of their board rooms at United Healthcare by Barbara Morse from NBC-10.  It was fun to talk to Barbara.  The first thing she asked me was if I had any girlfriends.  I thought that was funny. 

That's me getting interviewed by Barbara Morse for NBC 10.

Here’s the news clip that aired on NBC 10 News tonight in Providence!

We were sad to leave Rhode Island tonight.  Betsy and her staff at March of Dimes are all the best and we met so many amazing people who told us they get it, too.  They know why the March of Dimes is so important.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Neil Sharpe permalink
    March 4, 2010 8:31 am

    Hi Josh,

    Thank you for visiting us in Rhode Island. It was great to meet your mom and your brother Alex, too. We had a lot of fun when you were here and you got to speak with our friends at Women & Infants, Kmart, UnitedHealthcare, Summer Infant and Bank of America. And, of course, at the House of Representatives at the Rhode Island State House. Everyone was so impressed with your speech wherever we went.

    I think my favorite part was meeting you and your family. You guys are great.

    We hope you and your family will come back and see us in Rhode Island someday soon.

    Have fun on your travels. And say “hello” to our friends at Continental Airlines.

    Take care,

    Your friends at March of Dimes Rhode Island Chapter.

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