What to say?

This week I will be honored by the R Baby Foundation with their first-ever Champion Award. It is an incredible moment – not only to be marking five years of  progress in improving the standard of pediatric emergency care though life-saving grants, self-advocacy education and of course, legislation/regulation – but also to be shining a brilliant light down the path of “what’s next”.  As we progress towards clear standards in definition of pediatric emergency departments, greater tools available to doctors and EMTs, higher levels of parental and care-giver knowledge we will stop and remember.

We will remember how my friends Phyllis and Andrew Rabinowitz took the most tragic of moments, the loss of their daughter Rebecca Ava –  and turned it into a powerful mandate to save babies lives. There is nothing that compares to the one-two power-punch of Andrew’s vision and determination along with Phyllis’ deep passion and  methodical, well-considered approach. These two have taken harrowing loss and used the painful power of this experience for the greater good. Phyllis and Andrew have spent five years trying to assure that no-one suffers the loss their family experienced. They have been tireless and courageous. They are the  real champions. I was just lucky to be invited along for the journey.

And so, today I sit, pen (OK MacBook) in hand trying to craft just the right words to say as I am brought in front of 1000 people at the Plaza Hotel on Wednesday night.  How do I even begin to write this speech? What words are there really to express:

My gratitude for being recognized for the thing that means the most to me – using my voice, passion and authenticity to incite  real change where is it needed most?

My deep appreciation to my beloved friends and colleagues who have been limitless in their support of my commitment to RBF – you show up again again with a level of care and commitment that is both real and impossible to ignore. Have you seen the PSA?

My unwavering belief  in Philanthropic Moms – my  hypothesis that the power of all of our voices to elevate the dialog is the way in which we see progress over and again.

My thanks for being asked to join RBF and be a part of change that will protect all babies and children in emergency medical situations – not only now but for future generations.

My love for my husband and children for making room for this in our lives — for what they may have scarified along the way (and for my kids, especially who have been educated via the blue tooth – listening as strategies were built, tactics were designed, plan Bs were conceived).

My love too for my own parents for instilling a deep sense of community in me from the earliest of ages (or should I thank Woody Guthrie and my mother’s late 60s lullaby of  We Shall Overcome) and to al of the amazing mentors who have helped me hone in on these instincts, combining them will my skills and making it “easy” to step up and serve.

I don’t know where to go with this one. So I will wait for it to come, I know it will begin with the words: Thank you.

P.S PLEASE – sign the RBF petition and pass it on.