FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A few family pictures and even fewer memories are all Anthony Campbell has left of his son John Alexander.
“Friday, June 25, 2010 he took his last breath,” Campbell said. “You never know what you have until you don’t have them anymore.”
‘Little John,’ as the family called him, lived only 11 days.
He was born with a chromosomal disorder called T13 syndrome, which is almost always fatal within the first month of life.
“You never know what it feels like to be holding your child when he stops breathing,” the father explained, “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
The grieving family was left with a nursery full of baby items too painful to even look at. “It took us a while to get back into the room where we had his stuff at,” Campbell said, “It was all Little John’s stuff, his baby bed, mattress, clothes, stuff he never got to use.”
The Campbells decided to turn their sad story into somebody else’s happy one. They donated all of the baby’s belongings to the March of Dimes.
“Our mission is to improve the health of all babies,” said Lakeshia Brown, Program Services Coordinator for the non-profit’s Fort Worth chapter.
One of the ways the organization does that is through prenatal education programs, but those programs depend on donations to help the expectant mothers they serve. “The economy is very bad and so we have a lot of moms struggling to make ends meet,” Brown explained.
That’s why the March of Dimes is holding its 2nd Annual Cowtown Cradle Community Baby Shower Friday.
The event will take place between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. outside Baylor All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth.
The organization hopes to collect $30,000 worth of new or gently used baby products, or monetary donations. Those wanting to drop off a donation can do so at the event.
“The items that we’re collecting will then be turned over to those programs to use as incentive items,” Brown said, “so those moms will continue to get early and consistent prenatal care.”
For the Campbell’s, their donation was not only intended to help others, but to help them get beyond the grief of losing a child.
“If we had a garage sale, that would have been the end of it,” Campbell said, “by giving it to March of Dimes and them giving it to families in need, it’s letting him live through helping someone else.”
CBS 11 and TXA 21 are sponsors of the Cowtown Cradles Community Baby Shower. For more information on the event, check out the March of Dimes website.