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With adorable curls and big, brown eyes, Gabriella Mady is a charmer. If the chatty and vibrant 19-month-old turns her round face on you, you can’t help but smile. The thriving toddler gives no hint of the struggle it took to bring her into the world.“It changes you as a person,” says Gabriella’s mom, Shanee Mady.It was October 3rd of 2016. Shanee ended up in an emergency cesarean section at Woodwinds Health Campus in Woodbury and suddenly her brand new baby was being rushed to a different hospital 10 miles away. Complications at birth damaged Gabriella's lungs and she was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul. Meanwhile, her mom was still at Woodwinds recovering from surgery of her own.“I got released three days after I had her, so I didn't get to see her until she was three days old,” says Shanee.What followed was three weeks in the NICU for Gabriella. Shanee and her husband, Tom Mady, were reeling.“Kind of a rollercoaster of emotions,” Shanee explains. “I was feeling just… sad. In a way I felt that new mom experience was robbed from me.”That’s when the Madys discovered that Gillette Children’s had a Ronald McDonald House on campus. Just one floor above the NICU, mom and dad found a home away from home. It spared the Madys a nearly hour-long commute between St. Paul and their home in Coon Rapids. The couple stayed in the Ronald McDonald House almost the entire time Gabriella was hospitalized.“We didn't really have to do a whole lot of work and they did it for us. That really warmed my heart,” said Shanee.Eventually Gabriella had a full recovery. Now, the Madys are happy and healthy. Shanee's new mission is to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House, where she found so much support.“It really makes me feel good to be able to pay it forward, and to bless somebody else with the same opportunity and the same, you know, experience that we had.”
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WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE
Everyone is welcome and a portion of the dinner purchase will go to the Ronald McDonald House. Just show up June 19th, or contact Shanee at firstname.lastname@example.org
When you buy buddy clips and scent circles this month through Shanee’s website, 100% of the proceeds will go to the Ronald McDonald House.
Jennifer Anderson reporting