Sunday, September 25, 2011

Monday Morning Keeper - EPL Week 6

On any given Saturday I find myself waking up around 6am to get breakfast ready for the kids, change some diapers, and maybe have a sip or two of coffee before my soccer watching begins. I always have the ESPN2 early match on regardless of the teams because Darke and Macca are the best broadcast team this side of the pond and they set the tone for the rest of the morning. I will then do a balancing act between watching live matches on FSC and FSC+ while carefully planning my DVR recordings to watch later in the weekend. During the course of the morning and early afternoon I will spend somewhat even amounts of time watching matches alone in the living room or with the wife and kids in the playroom. This has been my existence for the last several years, but this past Saturday was different.

My son, Cameron, was diagnosed early in the pregnancy with a blood disorder that meant from 16 weeks forward my wife and I would find ourselves going to the hospital and doctors no less than 3 times a week. The goal was to get our son to 32 weeks old so he would have a good chance of survival and so along the way he had two transfusions and lots and lots of testing. We were able to make it all the way to 37 weeks before he had to be delivered, which happened successfully last October. However we knew there would be complications, and there were, so he was whisked away to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) within an hour of his birth where he would spend the next 8 days fighting more blood issues. We always knew in the back of our minds that he would be okay, but it was a struggle on all of us. What do you say to your wife when it takes 10 minutes for her to scrub up to get rid of germs every time she wants to go into the NICU just to see her baby? Lucky for us we were able to bring our son home after 8 days and today he is a big, strong, healthy 11 month old.

Great story, but what does this have to do with soccer? Saturday September 24th found my family flying from Maine back down to Orlando to take part in the 13th annual Miracle Miles fundraiser for the the NICU at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. We have spent the last several months raising money for our team, Cameron's Crew, to help support future families in need; we brought in over $3,000 and finished in the top five teams for money raised. We took part in the 5k road race, our entire family, and I proudly carried my son on my shoulders for the entire race. After the race, many of the teams, some with NICU babies just like us, took part in a walk around the hospital. We met a family who's baby was born at home at 23 weeks old, the EMTs thought she was stillborn, but they found a pulse and rushed her to the NICU. She spent the next 5 months there, but was able to go home and we saw her as a healthy 9 month old on Saturday. As the teams walked around the hospital we waived up at the windows of the NICU, to the many families and babies who were fighting their own struggles of survival. It was truly a magical day, one without soccer anywhere in my mind, and a day I will never forget. If you want to learn more about Miracle Miles or able to donate to the NICU, please check out the link here.

Here are the scores from the weekend and the top and bottom of the table. There were many winners this weekend, the biggest being the survivors of the NICU and their families that were supported by this event. Thanks for your understanding and for sharing in this otherwise ordinary Saturday morning.

Manchester City   2-0   Everton
Arsenal   3-0   Bolton
Chelsea   4-1   Swansea
Liverpool   2-1   Wolverhampton
Newcastle   3-1   Blackburn
West Brom   0-0   Fulham
Wigan   1-2   Tottenham
Stoke   1-1   Manchester United
QPR   1-1   Aston Villa

1. Man United – 16 pts, +17 GD (5-1-0)
2. Man City – 16 pts, +14 GD (5-1-0)
3. Chelsea – 13 pts, +5 GD (4-1-1)
4. Newcastle – 12 pts, +4 GD (3-3-0)
17. Fulham– 4 pts, -3 GD (0-4-2)
18. Blackburn – 4 pts, -5 GD (1-1-4)
19. West Brom – 4 pts, -5 GD (1-1-4)
20. Bolton – 3 pts, -8 GD (1-0-5)


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