A walk for families
Cecilia Marsden became pregnant with her second child in the summer of 2014.
She had previously given birth to a son, William, in February of 2010, while she and husband Andy were living in St. John’s.
Cecelia says she had a scheduled C-section at 39 weeks because baby William had breached, and was surprised that little baby William weighed only five pounds, two ounces.
Nurses did a test on William, and doctors decided to keep him in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for further observation.
Little William has a condition where his bones didn’t regulate calcium, and Cecilia says calcium was continually flowing from his bones into his bloodstream, and that his bones were being depleted.
The family spent some time in Toronto so that William could have a surgery to correct the issue. They spent 10 days at a Ronald McDonald House there.
Four years later, the family would once again spend time at a Ronald McDonald House, only for a much longer stay.
When Cecilia began pregnant with Jessa, she was sent to see a high-risk pregnancy doctor because Cecilia Marsden and daughter Jessa.
of some of the issues that William had faced.
During ultrasounds, doctors noticed a concern related to a lack of blood flow.
At about 25 weeks, Cecilia was hospitalized and monitored every day.
“The baby wasn’t growing, and it was getting to the point where it was going to be safer for her to be delivered and brought to the NICU to try and save here there, instead of having a still birth,” Cecilia told The Packet.
On May 15, baby Jessa was delivered.
She was one pound, one ounce.
“The first couple of days, which I can’t even really remember, she was doing good,” Cecilia Cecilia Marsden, through the Clarenville Lions Club, will be hosting the Clarenville Red Shoe Crew— Walk for Families on Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Lion’s Club. Registration will be at 10:30 a.m., with the walk starting at 11:30 a.m. and family activities planned for the afternoon.
Should it rain, activities will be held indoors.
“Doing this walk, and pushing myself to do it, would be a good way to memorialize her (daughter Jessa),” explained Marsden, who hopes that telling her families’ story might make people see the need for organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House.
In years prior, Mary and Brian Felkar of the Lions Club have hosted the walk, and while there was no walk last year, the club did fundraise
said. “Because there was that chance that she would be born and that would be it. So any day we got was a benefit.”
When the Clarenville family came to grasp the situation they were dealing with, they realized they would need to work out new living arrangements immediately.
“With a baby that premature, we were looking at probably a year in the hospital. And because we had that good experience in Toronto, we were like, ‘We really want to try this. We know that this is a good thing for us,’” said Cecilia, who also about $3,000 for the Ronald McDonald House through other means, including a garage sale hosted by Marsden.
“The Lion’s Club do so much for our community in ways that people don’t even realize,” said Cecilia, who joined the club in late summer 2016.
Marsden also acknowledged that September is a busy fundraising month, with many other walks and fundraising events happening in and around Clarenville over the coming month, but says that the McDonald’s company prefers the walks take place in September.
“If we only get 10 people at our walk, at least it happened,” she said. Visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ events/1060529607453846/ for information on how to get involved or to donate.
noted that several friends did offer their homes to the family. “We got our call that there was a room available for us, and from there it become home. We were there (Ronald McDonald House in St. John’s) for 120 days.”
Cecilia says the experience of being able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House while baby Jessa fought for her life is beyond words, and needs to be experienced to be truly understood.
Small things like not having to worry about preparing meals, she says, takes a load of stress off the mind.