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Help establish Miracle League field in region
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Editor, Seven years ago, I was just beginning my journey as a first-time mother. I was like any other pregnant woman — a little scared but mostly excited. Long before we even knew the baby’s gender, my husband and I were making plans for the baby’s room, picking names and imagining what our baby would look like.
Everything was going great until my third trimester when my blood pressure got out of hand. I developed HELLP syndrome, which is a type of preeclampsia. It means hemolytic anemia, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count. It almost killed me and my baby boy, Johnathan.  
Johnathan was born unresponsive at 33 weeks and two days, weighing 4 pounds, 2.3 ounces. He spent three weeks in the neonatal intensive care nursery at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah.  
Since then, Johnathan has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, developmental delays and vision and hearing impairments. He is confined to a wheelchair. He is my pride and joy, though — my miracle.  
Johnathan’s slowly becoming more interactive with his surroundings. He just lost his first tooth, got promoted to the first grade, participated in his third March for Babies and welcomed his first sibling, Tobias. He’s had a busy year, but it’s not over yet. In September, Johnathan will participate in his fourth March for Babies, and we are in the early stages of planning a Miracle League field and team in Tattnall County.  
The Miracle League is a baseball organization for children like Johnathan who are physically and/or mentally challenged. It gives the children a chance to forget about doctors, hospitals and treatments while they enjoy a game they normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to play.
The fields are specially built for safety and accessibility. Instead of grass, the surface is made from a rubberized material so children in wheelchairs and walkers can safely maneuver the field. The dugouts are wheelchair accessible, too. The Miracle League was created in 1998 in Conyers. Since then, more than 100 fields have been built.
At this time, the closest field is in Macon. I believe we should have a field in Tattnall County. It is a centralized location to many counties whose residents otherwise would have to travel hours to a field. This is our first step — getting the word out.
We are forming a committee to become incorporated so we can receive our nonprofit form and get fundraising efforts under way. We look forward to hearing from parents of other special needs children, prospective donors, volunteer buddies for the children and anyone who would like to help with this endeavor. We need information on how to get the ball rolling to become a nonprofit.
If you would like more information on the Miracle League, go to If you are interested in helping, e-mail or call 912-557-3519 after 3 p.m.  

— Jerri Rush

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