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Last year, Christina-Taylor Green, a vivacious and bright 9-year old, was killed in a Tucson, Ariz., shooting, when a would-be assassin fired shots at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the crowd she was addressing.
Along with the outpouring of sympathy for the badly injured Giffords, the country rallied around the family of young Christina -- a former resident of Penn Township.
Soon contributions were being received by the state of Arizona in memory of Christina, and the family decided to set up a foundation as a repository for the money to support causes that would help youth.
Now, funds that were and continue to be generated in memory of that former London Grove Kindergarten student are going in part to support the work of the neonatal unit at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del., where Christina was born.
It’s a very good cause, because tragedy strikes many children in many forms, and it often comes just as they are come into the world. These children suffer from birth defects, prematurity and pediatric illnesses. Their survival depends on skilled medical care and adequate facilities.
Christina’s story was widely broadcast, but there are many with plights that are not widely known whose lives can be saved and their health restored in a place like Christiana.
Last week at a luncheon at the Wilmington Country Club, it was announced that the Christina-Taylor Green Foundation has formed a partnership with the hospital.
Christina’s mother, Roxanna Green, was signing copies of the book she wrote about Christina, and it was announced that a portion of the proceeds from the book would be contributed to the foundation as well.
We support the cause, largely because of what we heard at the time from Dr. John Stefano, head of the neonatal unit at Christiana.
He said that they were expanding the unit. When the project is finished, every premature baby will have a room of its own. The family will be able to have access to their own child without the atmosphere of a hospital ward.
An environment like the one he proposes for the delicate babies means that they will not have to hear the constant clatter and alarm bells that go on constantly in the big room that houses many. Still, they will be able to get the same skilled care.
Second, he talked about research.
He said that if science could discover how to delay the onset of early delivery just one month, millions of dollars (and presumably many lives) would be saved.
Much research is done with the support of grants, and, again, the infusion of funding for the cause could possibly lead to improvements in prenatal care and treatment of sick mothers-to-be.
The third thing he talked about was a program called IMPACT. Unfortunately, some children are born too sick or too early to survive. The hospital, he said, is making an organized plan to help parents deal with the loss and to alleviate the suffering of seriously ill children who have little chance of survival.
All these endeavors of the Christiana Hospital, where many of our local children came into the world, are inspiring.
We hope the foundation is generous with its support and are eager to see Dr. Stafano’s dreams turn into reality.