Friday, January 2, 2009

Dear friends,

In October of 2008 an email was sent out directing you to this blog. I was feeling a little nervous about how it may be perceived and I hoped that it would speak to the recipients and that it would come across exactly as I intended it to. Realizing that there are hundreds of causes out there, the expectations I had for support were realistic but I had a lot of passion and hope to reach the goal as it was a cause that was very close to my heart.

Every time I thought about Madelin and her birth, I got very emotional. Until one experiences a life threatening event it is nearly impossible to even begin to try to put into words the profound affect it can have on the people involved. With her first birthday approaching I needed a special way to celebrate it. Although Madi's 1st birthday was the catalyst for this cause, the true reason is a different one; “TO GIVE BACK” to the hospital that saved her life so that they can continue to save many more. If we could help the hospital acquire one item from the urgent needs list, we could actually improve the quality of care some babies will receive. We could actually help other parents by giving them peace of mind knowing that their babies don't need to be separated after birth. We could actually make a difference!

I spent last weekend at The Royal Columbian Hospital selling chocolate covered almonds and I had conversations with many, many individuals. I was fortunate enough to have them share their stories with me; I also got to share ours. Hearing first hand how lives are saved daily at Royal Columbian Hospital was one of the most significant experiences of my life; and reaffirmed that this campaign was not only important but MATTERED.

As you all know, the goal was to raise as much money as possible towards the cost of a Co-bedding Cribette for the hospital by December 31st, 2008. The price tag: $8,165.00.

It is with great joy that I report that together, our goal was not only reached but exceeded by raising $8,837.06! (Once the funds for the chocolates that are at various offices are sold, the campaign will have raised just over $9,000!) The extra funds will go towards other urgent need items for the hospital. To learn more about The Royal Columbian Hospital and the urgent needs list, please visit:

We are so fortunate to have such wonderful family and friends. Thank you to my sister Roberta for all her help and daily encouragement. To Erin, Gloria, Niki and Monica for all their help at the fundraiser event and selling chocolate covered almonds. Thank you to Grandma, Nonna and Auntie Mindy for helping out with Madelin when I had to run off somewhere to collect a gift card or drop off a letter. Thank you to all the businesses that donated gift cards or merchandise for the fundraiser. Thank you to all the people who made donations and who came out to the fundraiser. Thank you to the people who couldn't make it out to the fundraiser but bought a ticket to support the cause. Thank you to all the people who bought chocolate covered almonds. Thank you to all the people who sold chocolate covered almonds at their place of work to help (Dad, my sister Kat, Heidi, Sylvia, Erin, Evy, Roberta, Jen, Linda, Niki and Raymond James reception). Thank you to my nieces and nephew, Holly, Brett and Kirstin for running around in the sleet and snow to sell chocolate covered almonds. Thank you to Wesgroup for allowing us to participate in their Christmas Tree Sale event (thank you Niki for helping me!). Thank you to Jennifer Moreau and Larry Wright of The Burnaby Now/ New Westminster Record for covering this story. Thank you to CBC Radio. Thank you to "Coffee News" for running a blurb on the campaign. Thank you to Paul for bringing awareness to the campaign through his website. Thank you to Lougheed Mall for allowing me to share our story at the launch of their "Stars for Care" event, thank you to Clara. Thank you to Rhinos Pub's staff and especially Mariana. Thank you to The Point Pub and especially Danielle.Thank you to Laura for all her help with setting up the blog. Thank you to the staff at The Royal Columbian Foundation, it was a pleasure meeting you all, keep up the great work!(If there is anyone I am forgetting, please accept my apologies and accept my thanks)

Thank you to God for blessing us with such a sweet little girl and giving us such great friends and family!

Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank my wonderful, patient and understanding husband for his support through all of this. He knew that I would dedicate a lot of time to ensure that this goal would be achieved and he boldly accepted that.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2009!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

CBC Radio - "Bright Light" Audio Interview clip

To listen to the October 27th, 2008 interview with Rick Cluff on CBC Radio's Early Edition's "Bright Light" segment, click on link below:

"Bright Light" interview

To make a donation through Canada Helps, a safe and secure website, please click here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


To view "Letter to Madelin", please click here.

Sponsors for the December 13th Fundraiser Event:
The Keg Steakhouse & Bar
Bouzyo's Greek Taverna
The Cactus Club
Les Faux Bourgeois
Lougheed Town Centre
Brentwood Town Centre
Lululemon Metropolis at Metrotown
Aarm Dental Group
Roberta Mercer- Artist
Anducci's Restaurants
World's Finest Chocolate
Red Robin Restaurants
Coquitlam Centre
Metropolis at Metrotown
Godfather's Fish and Chips
Woodyard BMX
Ride On Again Bikes
Fuji Sushi
Eterna Salon & Day Spa (Lougheed Mall)

Melinda has donated Gift Cards for:
The Gap
Cineplex Odeon
Roots Canada
Earl's Restaurants
Danier Leather
Starbuck's Coffee
Sports Chek
Plasma Car (

Special thanks to Trevor Shield- Convey Distribution Services Inc. – Coffee News BC for advertising fundraiser event in the "what's new" section.

Thank you to all the donors
Ms. Kathleen Nash
Ms. Nicole Ramm
Edith & Istvan Toldy
Miss Johanna Toldy
Kylie, Alyssa and Maya Greenough
Mr. Ron and Roberta Mercer
Kirstin Clark
Brett Clark
Holly Clark
Ms. Maria Zavaglia
Ms. Lori Marando
Miss Erin Andrecheck
Nancy and Makaila Goodale
Rene de Diego
Arun & Amit Basran
Miss Jennifer Yee
Ms. Carla Ladeira
Mrs. Clara Loh
Manuela Gruber Hersch
Marcus Baggio
Vicki MacDonald
Jennifer Hunter
Ms. Cyndy Kirk-Foreman
Mrs. Nicole Rattray
Ms. Leona Harper
Sharon and Gerry
Mensura Hadzimahovic
Alice & Gerry Haverstock
Mrs. Larissa Lapierre
Jennifer Leaman
Kathleen Tan
Bente Toldy
Linda Fabbro
Roberta Mercer
Kulbinder Bains
Yirong Chen
Steve Pencz
The Anderson's
Candice Jones
Chris Fabbro
Charles Mendes
Heidi & Kevin Ling
Samuel Tse
Mira Syarifudin
Aisling Coward
JR Miller
Shirley MacRitchie
Paul and Meredith MacRitchie
Laura Banco

Corporate, Business & Group Donors
Candice Jones c/o A Day to Remember Wedding Consultants
Howling Construction

Thanks to Laura Duke of for all your help with the blog!

To make a donation through Canada Helps, a safe and secure website, please click here.

To view "Letter to Madelin", please click here.


This article was originally published in the Burnaby Now (cover) and The New Westminster Record (page 3) on October 18, 2008. It was written by Jennifer Moreau, and the photograph of Melinda and Madelin was taken by Larry Wright.

'How Lucky We Are'

Close call for baby Madelin inspires mom to start a blog to help raise funds for baby beds at Royal Columbian

Burquitlam resident Melinda Fabbro was well into labour at Royal Columbian Hospital when something went wrong with her baby.

"She wasn't breathing, she wasn't moving, she wasn't responding," Melinda said of her only child, Madelin. "I was in the 32nd hour of labour. I was basically sleeping between contractions."

The sudden, dramatic drop in Madelin's heart rate gave the mom a second wind.

"All I could think was my baby's heart rate has dropped, she's got to get out, I don't care what it takes," she recalled. Madelin's oxygen rate was improving, but she wasn't out of the clearing yet.

The doctors decided to do a vacuum delivery to help pull the baby out, and one of the doctors helped Madelin take her first breath.

Everything seemed fine, but a nurse thought the newborn looked blue, and tests showed she still had low oxygen levels.

At seven pounds and eight ounces, Madelin was admitted to the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, where she recovered.

That was Nov. 6, 2007.

"I saw all these other little babies, some of them weighing under a pound with tubes everywhere. It just made me realize ... how lucky we are," Melinda said.

And to mark Madelin's birthday, Melinda has decided to forgo gifts in favour of donations to the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation for a co-bedding crib, a special bed for multiple babies.

"If we didn't have the type of health care we have, she wouldn't have made it," Melinda said, adding the thought of Madelin's first birthday gets her emotional. "I thought we could use the money for something, for a greater good."

Melinda set up a blog to encourage donations via Canada Helps, a website that helps connect donors with causes. Anyone can donate to the co-bedding crib, but most contributors have been Melinda's family and friends. The goal is to raise $8,165, and so far the campaign has raised $1,726.

Even though Melinda didn't have twins, she wants to help the hospital get a crib that allows for multiple babies to be cared for together.

"If you look at the long list of equipment that the hospital needs, if we are able to cross one of those off, other money can go to other things," she said.

Susie Poulsen, spokesperson for the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, said the campaign is "absolutely fantastic."

"This is what the role of the foundation really is all about," she said. "We're blessed with these stories on a regular basis."

Poulsen pointed out that Royal Columbian is one three hospitals in the province that provides specialized care for critically ill and premature babies. Each year, about 2,800 babies are born at Royal Columbian, and 700 are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.

The co-bedding crib is on the foundation's list of urgently needed items, some of which have been funded already.

On her blog, Melinda wrote a letter to her daughter explaining her reason for the campaign: "Spending the first day of your life in the ICU (intensive care unit) reaffirmed for us how fragile and precious life is and that even the smallest of us must fight for it," she wrote.

Melinda will also be selling chocolate covered almonds to help raise more money. Readers can get in touch with Melinda through her blog page at

To make a donation through Canada Helps, a safe and secure website, please click here.

To view "Letter to Madelin", please click here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Letter to Madelin

My Dear Baby Girl, Madelin,

Words cannot begin to express how joyous I am that you are here. With your 1st birthday fast approaching I cannot stop myself from getting emotional when I think about how different things could have turned out.

When you came into the world on November 6th, 2007 you didn't take your first breath. But I look at you now and you are healthy, happy and the sweetest gift your Dad and I have ever received.

We want to make YOUR 1st and very special birthday,

We have chosen the Royal Columbian Foundation. If it wasn’t for the grace of God, the Royal Columbian Hospital and expertise of its caring and professional staff, you would not be here with us today. Like most hospitals, they are in desperate need of equipment and we hope to raise as much money as possible towards a Co-Bedding Crib by December 31st, 2008. This crib enables twins and triplets to be cared for together in one crib, which is essential for their development.

The cost of this equipment is $8,165.00. Rather than throwing a big 1st Birthday party for you, we are making a donation. I will kindly ask friends, relatives and anyone else who may view this, to consider making a donation in your honour as well.

Spending the first day of your life in the ICU re-affirmed for us how fragile and precious life is and that even the smallest of us must fight for it. We then realized how fortunate and truly blessed we are and that without quality healthcare and equipment some babies would never get to go home with their parents.

It is my personal hope that people who see this letter will pass it along to as many people as possible so that they too can consider making a donation. There is no donation too small, and every dollar counts and makes a difference. We are truly grateful for any consideration anyone may give to this cause. If this letter inspires just one other person to make her baby's 1st a "First to Give Back Birthday", then it will have exceeded all hopes and expectations.

Madelin, I am so thankful for you and I love you with all my heart,


To make a donation through Canada Helps, a safe and secure website, please click here.