Jacob and his family are on a mission to help others.
By Brandy Stegall
As a child growing up in Cherokee County, one of my fondest memories is the daily trips I would take with my mom and/or dad to the “little market” to get a much-needed after school snack. With those snacks, there undoubtedly would be loose change, and, even as a child, I found joy in putting the change in the well-placed March of Dimes donation box at the cash register. Never did I once think that such a small, kind gesture would someday impact my life in such a powerful way.
Fast forward 30 years. On Aug. 20, 2017, at 7:05 p.m. after 17 hours of labor, Jacob Alan Wendell Stegall was born at Northside Cherokee Hospital. Shortly after birth, he was whisked away to the special care nurse, with his dad following close behind.
While we knew Jacob would have Down syndrome, we did not expect the other issues that soon would present themselves in his short life. He had pneumonia, a broken clavicle, a hematoma on his head, and he was not oxygenating his blood well, causing him to not breath properly on his own.
Seeing our newborn with so many wires and tubes was beyond painful, and something I prayed no mother ever would have to go through. However, I also prayed that the Lord would grant me the opportunity to help and educate others on the things I went through during my pregnancy, labor, delivery and post-natal care.
Earlier this year, Jacob was selected as the ambassador for March of Dimes. My husband and I wondered, how did we get chosen for such an amazing honor?
The March of Dimes was founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938 to help eradicate the polio epidemic that gripped our nation. The organization has grown to become an unstoppable source of research, advocacy and education to help mothers, babies and families become the best they can be. We quickly learned that many things we utilized during and after Jacob’s birth were not only researched by March of Dimes, but also were introduced into hospitals nationwide.
“The Stegall family lends their voice and shares their journey to help others see the impact of our mission. From planning to pre-pregnancy, and every step along the way, even if a pregnancy does not go as planned, March of Dimes has the research, advocacy, education and support to help. We are here before and when you need us doing the work to save babies lives,” said Kirby Lewis-Hobba, Northwest Georgia development manager.
Along with its generous sponsors, Northside Hospital and Publix, we are excited to announce the March of Dimes Walk for Babies happening April 27 in downtown Woodstock. It’s a chance for all of us, as residents of Cherokee County, to rally around an amazing cause and make a difference in the world and our own backyard!
Cherokee March for Babies
Participants will gather April 27 at the Woodstock Arts Village Event Green in downtown Woodstock, and walk the Noonday Creek Trail. Registration begins at 5 p.m., event begins at 6.