Monday, January 4, 2010

Challenges in our lives makes us stronger.... dedicated to Arianna Bellamie Luna :)

It's a New Year filled with resolutions, changes, motivations, challenges and where also the unexpected can occur in our lives.

Here is an unexpected reality that happened to someone very close to me.

For those of you that don't know a very close childhood friend Xenia experienced a mother's worse fear. After the thrill and excitement of finding out she was expecting she was also faced with an unknown defect that the baby will be born with. As any parent you can imagine the anguish that both Xenia and Ariel felt during this time.

The baby was diagnosed with Gastrochisis.

When Xenia expressed to us the condition Arianna had she knew it wasn't going to be an easy road and she was prepared for everything and anything to help her baby. Both Xenia and Ariel immediately did everything possible to educate themselves. Visited one of the top hospitals in the country "CHOPS" in Pennsylvania where they had the opportunity to speak to other parents with the same condition. During all of this they wished there was more they can do to make other families aware as well help in some way so that more research is done with this defect because the cause is still unknown.

What is Gastrochisis?
Gastroschisis is a defect that occurs when the abdominal wall fails to close properly during fetal development, allowing the intestines to protrude through the abdominal wall. Gastroschisisis usually discovered when the mother's alpha feto protein (AFP) blood levels become elevated during the second trimester.

Gastroschisis occurs in approximately 1 in 5,000 births. Unfortunately, we do not know the exact cause of gastroschisis. However, it is often associated with younger mothers (under 20 years of age) and is unrelated to anything the mother ate or did before or during her pregnancy.

Thankfully on December 14, 2009 Xenia had a beautiful baby girl named Arianna Bellamie Luna. For the little time I know Arianna she is sure a fighter! She has this incredible strength and will to live and be healthy. I can see already she has many traits from her parents.

With the prayers we continue to give and the support of our family, and friends Arianna is doing great.

Be Arianna's strength and let's end the mystery and find a solution. Below is a candle dedicated to Arianna to raise and donate it to Gastroschisis Center for Research and Support.

If you can't make a monetary donation, please donate blood and/or plasma. 1 adult donation of plasma/platelets saves 12 babies.

To purchase a candle please visit:

If you would like to know more about Gastrochisis take a look at the video below.

Inside Out: Understanding Abdominal Wall Defects Video Series The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia