What a great weekend we had at Music on the Bay! James and I are so proud to be a part of this wonderful event for the past 11 years, and we love our Tampa Bay PHC friends, and everyone who helps bring it all together. MOTB has raised $700,000, or more, for the Shriners Hospital for Children where children are treated regardless of their family's ability to pay.
This weekend I met a wonderful woman at the Shriner's booth next to mine, Alicia Argiz-Lyons. She plans fundraisers and travels the country on behalf of the hospital, and it was clear Alicia loves her job and the mission they share. I asked her about possible help for a baby girl in Cayman who will need assistance her whole life, and she gave some information to share with the parents.
During this discussion, it dawned on me that our family has benefited from the kindness of others too, in similar circumstances. Our twin daughters were born in Texas very early and very tiny, so Hallie & Katie spent months in the NICU and Preemie Nursery at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. Before they were born, I was hospitalized for 5 weeks in a high-risk maternity ward, so our combined hospital bill was outrageous.
Unfortunately, our insurance coverage at that time, through the Hyatt in Cayman, maxed out at a ridiculously low total (that was changed after our ordeal). Our outstanding bill was $500,000 (30 years ago). You can't imagine the panic James and I felt when we saw that huge bill, and our babies still needed special care at home.
Luckily, we were helped by an organization in Texas set up to help families with catastrophic illnesses and big medical bills. They paid most of our outstanding debt, and took a huge weight off of our shoulders. James and I could focus on taking our baby girls home and keeping them happy and healthy.
As a parent, when you have a sick child in the hospital, the last thing you want to do is worry about money. Thank you Shriners Hospital for Children for giving these parents peace of mind, and these children hope.
And thank you to the Angels Among Us who work so hard to make Music on the Bay such a successful fundraiser for the children. You guys rock!