On April 3, 2010 our youngest grandson, Sagan Eberle, was born and quickly diagnosed with spina bifida. Until that minute I knew very little about this condition. To say it rocked our world would be an understatement and going through the very complex and lengthy de-tethering surgery on our beautiful infant was a nightmare for our entire family. Even more shocking was that our youngest granddaughter, Katelyn Dybdahl, born August 19, 2011 was also diagnosed with the same condition. Another surgery and another heartbreak.
Today our youngest grandchildren, (ages 9 and 7 and 1/2) are simply great "above average" 3rd grade and 2nd grade kids who happen to have spina bifida. It doesn't define them, it is just part of who they are. They face medical challenges that other kids do not, but it doesn't stop them from excelling in school, riding bikes or participating in soccer and robotics; from doing volunteer work, helping around the house; from sailing and swimming and kayaking; and from fighting with their sibs! :)
Our family has been involved with the Spina Bifida Association for the last 6 years. 4 years ago, I joined the Michigan SBA Advisory Council helping to provide services (practical and entertaining) to families living with Spina Bifida in our community. Our entire budget is based on donations.
The Michigan Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida is our biggest fundraiser of the year. This one mile community building and awareness generating walk celebrates the infants, toddlers, kids, teenagers, and adults affected by this complex birth defect. Our team - the biggest in the state (I love my family!) is dedicated to help the Spina Bifida Association (SBA) advance its mission of improving the quality of life of all affected by this challenging birth defect by raising funds and awareness.
One in 2,858 will be born with Spina Bifida or another neural tube defect, making Spina Bifida the most commonly occurring birth defect in this country. The total average lifetime health costs for an infant born with Spina Bifida can exceed $1,000,000. Even though an estimated 60% of people living with Spina Bifida are adults yet there are only 10 adult clinics across the U.S. Can you imagine having to travel out of state or across the country to get medical care?
Please donate whatever you can today to help make a difference for this underserved community. All donations are 100% tax deductible and will help us reach our goal. Donations can be made here, on my personal webpage or via check made out to the Michigan Spina Bifida Association (SBA of MI) and mailed to me, Gayl Dybdahl, 1510 York Terrace, Saline, MI 48176.