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A Little Girl's Death; A Community Inspired

Today, Heather and Mike Spohr are burying their little girl. Madeline Alice Spohr was born at 29 weeks gestation on Nov. 11, 2007. The little girl, who weighed 3 pounds, 1 ounce, wasn't expected to live through the day. Live she did, though, both in life and through a popular blog written by Heather called "The Spohrs Are Multiplying."

Maddie's death on April 7 has sparked an outpouring of support around the world for the Spohrs; more than 400 bloggers have written in honor of Maddie. More than $30,000 has been raised for the March of Dimes in memory of Maddie; much of it in increments of $5 to $20 donations. More than 35 Walking for Maddie teams have been formed to raise money. The Spohrs will be walking with one of the teams on April 25. Tweets are flowing continually to #maddie. Mommy blogs around the Web have turned purple in support of Maddie and her parents and Tweeters have turned their avatars purple. Heather and Mike are asking folks to wear purple today in support of Maddie.

Heather, while holding a doll still smelling of Maddie, told the L.A. Times that she doesn't know when she'll return to blogging or what her identity will be. But she has written once since her daughter's death. It's about the funeral, which will be at 2:30 this afternoon in California. The post is at a new url thanks to two parents who moved Heather's blog to their servers for more capacity:

MY DAUGHTER. I type the words, and I understand them, but I feel as if I am talking about someone else. I see the emails, the comments, the tweets, the cards, the letters, the donations to the March of Dimes, the articles, the TV stories, and I can’t comprehend that it’s my daughter that’s being talked about. I can’t comprehend.
The people that already know I’m speaking don’t understand how I can. I’ve had several family members and friends offer to go up with me in case I falter and can’t go on. I’ve said thanks, but no thanks.
I can do it. I will channel all the bravery my Maddie had, all the strength and courage she showed in her too-short life, and I will pay my daughter tribute. As her mommy, I owe her this.
If I tell myself enough that I can do it, then maybe I can.

Fellow mommy blogger and friend Meghan Gesswein of "A Mom of Two Boys" tells me that "The outpouring of love has been incredibly comforting to Heather and Mike."

It's inspiring, too, to see the power of community that technology has given moms and that these moms are using for good.

By Stacey Garfinkle |  April 14, 2009; 2:00 PM ET  | Category:  Babies
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I knew, so to speak, this wonderful family through the blogging community. I quickly took notice of this beautiful, little girl and her journey through life. Her parents, Heather and Mike, documented her life through pictures, videos, and words. All by which I was intrigued.

I learned Heather's love for Maddie by following her on Twitter. She had such a devotion to her daughter, as well as Mike.

I am lucky to have known of Maddie and the Spohrs, if only for a short time, through the wonderful community of Mommy bloggers.

If you would like to help, please visit here to find out how you can do so:

Posted by: KeonteS | April 14, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

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