Saturday, May 16, 2009


Recently our family has suffered through yet another tragedy. Not long ago, Peggy's niece Emily and her husband Josh welcomed their daughter Gianna into the world. Last month Gianna passed away at only 11 weeks.

Gianna was born with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder that occurs when a baby has three of the 18th chromosome. (Down's Syndrome, where the baby has three of the 21st chromosome, is the most common trisomy.) Babies with Trisomy 18 suffer from severe heart, kidney, and intestinal deformities, and most Trisomy 18 babies are dead at birth. Less than 10% of Trisomy 18 babies live to be a year old.

Several weeks after Emily learned she was pregnant, they knew that Gianna would have Trisomy 18. It was a difficult pregnancy for Emily, both physically and emotionally. Nevertheless, Emily and Josh were overjoyed when Gianna came into the world alive, and they gave the baby all the love and caring in their hearts during her short time with them. Despite Gianna's short time here, she was quite a blessing for the family. This has been an emotional roller coaster for Emily and Josh, and I know that this is a tough time for them now. Both of you are in my thoughts and prayers, and I am sorry I was unable to attend the memorial service. This small tribute is the least I can do.