Sunday, April 12, 2009

For Maddie: An Unusual, Heartfelt Request to LOST Fans (Updated)

I rarely use this space for anything other than Lost-related news and theorizing, but my mind has been elsewhere and my heart is heavy.

Last week, an acquaintance lost her daughter unexpectedly. Heather Spohr and her husband Mike are parents to adorable Maddie, who passed away at only 17 months old. Some of you might already be familiar with this story, as it has traveled far and wide via Twitter and was featured in this LA Times article.

*Update: the services were held today (April 14) for Maddie, and both Heather and Mike posted amazing, heartbreaking, beautiful thoughts about their daughter, along with this video.

The Tribute to Our Madeline from Mike and Heather on Vimeo.

Heather is a fellow blogger, and best friends with my co-worker and good friend Jackie. I mention this because Heather has been Jackie's unwavering rock ever since she was diagnosed with brain cancer. That's what kind of people Heather and Mike are; family, warm, generous, loyal. So I did not hesitate to contribute a small amount of money to help alleviate the cost of the services.

I realize that this is not the best time to request donations from anyone, but in the spirit of the holiday, I felt today was an appropriate time to do so. If you can spare even $5-$10, please visit March for Maddie, where there are links for both donations and Heather's March of Dimes walk on behalf of Maddie. There is also an address to send cards or gift cards (for groceries, etc.).

So here is what I'm offering, to encourage donations from fellow Lost fans: if you donate money in ANY amount, sign up for a March of Dimes walk for Maddie or turn your Twitter or blog purple in her honor, please leave a comment below with your name & email address. You will be entered to win one of the following from my personal collection: 10 Lost t-shirts of various styles & sizes, a Lost soundtrack CD, one
autographed Sterling Beaumon (young Ben Linus) t-shirt or a John Locke action figure. Because I am covering all shipping costs, please note that this is open to residents of the U.S. only (but of course anyone in the world can make donations).

*Please continue to make donations if at all possible. I will be drawing names from a hat on April 30, and post the names of those who won items shortly thereafter.

Thank you in advance; I appreciate your support, thoughts and prayers for Maddie.

- Jo


Michael Fossbakk said...

Just heard this. I hope the family pulls through. Check out my twitter blog:
Best wishes!

lyndsey said...

hey jo i have turned my twitter purple. that is such a tragic story. i wish them all the best

Kawnar said...

Anything to help!


Ambivalentman said...

Jo -- thanks for sharing this. As a father with three children (one with autism), I can only imagine the horror of losing a child. My prayers are with the Spohr family.

I have placed a link to your site on my blog and changed as many elements as I could to a purple color.

Good luck getting donations.

the flour child said...

my prayers and thoughts are with the family.
i donated - march of dimes is an incredible organization
and my twitter is purple

best wishes to all helping out - love from the east coast!


CuInAnotherLifeBrother said...

Such a tragic story

My thoughts and prayers go out to all

I have donated to

Paul (Stirling, Scotland)
@LOST_4815162342 on twitter

Jo said...

Thank you SO much, Michael, Lyndsey, Kawnar, AmbivalentMan, FlourChild and CuInAnotherLifeBrother! Your efforts are tremendously appreciated by her family and friends, and by me personally.

If fewer than 12 people participate, you're all guaranteed to receive a Lost item!

For those who are thinking about doing the same, it is as simple as turning your Twitter background purple or as easy as donating $5 or more.

Thank you again.

1miletogo said...

Thank you for posting this Jo! It is so great that the Internet community can come together for Heather & Mike. My thoughts and Prayers are with the Spohrs. It is a sad story, but seeing people pull together is great.

i have donated and turned my twitter purple -

Thanks Jo

Karen said...

Donated to Heather's March for Maddie and turned purple at My thoughts go out to the Spohr family.

JO-C said...

Today, my trademark fuzzy purple hat will be displayed in honor and remembrance of little Maddie, her loving family, friends, and all us total strangers who's hearts she touched. I happily make a donation for that angelic child. God bless.

JO-C said...

Also made a donation to March of Dimes in honor of Maddie. God bless Maddie, her loved ones, and all those contributing and doing things in her honor and memory.

Gwen said...

Turned all to purple for the day. Will donate on Friday. Retweet, update status, share blog links. Whatever we can do.

Pocklock said...

Everything's purple, I donated to Maddie's MoD page, started a For Maddie MoD walk team in my community, and donated to the Spohr family. I'm heartbroken for Heather & Mike.

Thanks for doing this.

Anonymous said...

I donated to the March of Dimes in honor of Maddie, thanks for the blog explaining what a special child she was.


Upstatemomof3 said...

I have never actually seen lost so I would much prefer your cool giveaways went to someone who actually knows about the show. But I wanted to say how wonderful what you are doing is and that my blog has gone purple for Maddie. Bless her and her family. said...

My twitter is already purple and my web page has a pinky/purply color. My heart, thoughts and prayers are with this family. May their grief be eased by your kindness Jo. I have never watched Lost so don't enter me in your contest. will make a donation. Thank you for being good people.

Michael Fossbakk said...

Just made a donation to the family for Maddie. I can't imagine what they must be feeling. For some reason, this story really struck a chord for me. Happy wishes Mike and Heather!

Rachel said...

My twitter is purple and I donated last week to both March of Dimes and directly to the Spohrs. So heartbreaking.

Rachel Russell said...

My heart breaks for them. So very touching and heart breaking. A parent should not have to bury a precous child.

Jo said...

I would like to thank 1MileToGo, Karen, JO-C, Gwen, Pocklock, Tammy, UpstateMomOf3, Adiaha, M Fossbakk, Rachel and Rachel Russell for the kind words for and about Maddie. I am grateful for your support on her behalf.

e said...

This is so, so sad and unfair.

I'm just catching up on your posts and have donated at Heather's March of Dimes page. You are an awesome friend to support her like this... I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers.

- e

punkinmama said...

This has broken my heart. I'm walking in the upcoming march and I've turned my blog purple for maddie!

Anonymous said...

I don't have much to give but I did join The March for Maddie Cause and sent invites to all of my friends. It is so tragic that this has happened, perhaps together we can help others so that no one will have to go through this.

My deepest sympathy,
Katie Harpool

Anonymous said...

I turned my twitter purple in honor..

I also work for a company that asks people to donate a dollar so I donate there as often as I can. I'm glad to see so many people donating!