Fundraiser on Nov. 27 benefits Breath of Hope |

Fundraiser on Nov. 27 benefits Breath of Hope

Staff Reports

Walker resident Shannon Minder has organized a fundraiser to raise awareness about congenital diaphragmatic hernia, 3-9 p.m. Nov. 27 at Pizza Barn, 1544 Highway 395, Gardnerville.

Walker resident Shannon Minder’s family was affected by the birth defect in unborn babies. Up to 1,800 families a year CDH occurs as often as spinal bifida, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy. Yet we do not hear of it until diagnosed

My brother and his wife were expecting twin boys. One day they went to a regular scheduled sonogram appointment. On that day May 8, 2009 their lives changed. The doctor informed them, Will is going to be healthy while Michael Joseph (MJ) will be born with CDH. As any other family we were all devastated but remaining positive.

CDH is when the diaphragm does not completely close in the unborn baby and causes the organs to migrate into the chest cavity. These babies need to have surgery to correct their organs. They are in the NICU and on a machine called ECMO. These babies have a 50/50 chance at a healthy life. Here in the state of Nevada we do not have an ECMO machine.

The twins were born to William and Megan Skaggs on July 25, 2009 in Kansas City, KS. Will and MJ both weighed 6 lbs. As soon as the boys were born, MJ had 7 people working on him. He was unable to breathe on his own, due to his lungs being so small and underdeveloped. He constantly fought; he would have good and bad days. On one of MJ’s good days his mother was able to give him a sponge bath. He would always squeeze their finger, not wanting to let go. One day they even got to see his baby blues, which reminded them of the bluest blue of the ocean. He had 3 surgeries within 1 month to correct the organs. It came time for MJ to come off the ECMO. Since he couldn’t breathe on his own he had to be on a ventilator.

Willie and Megan got word one day from the doctor that MJ will probably be in the hospital for another 6-12 months. They were not prepared for that news, as many times before. Again MJ had a good day, then bad and eventually told there was nothing more they could do. His blood pressure was dropping and everything was shutting down. Our little angel was turning blue and slowly going to heaven. His parents never got to hold him since he was hooked up to so many machines. Until that day when it came time and they made the hardest decision a parent should never have to make.

More information at

Fundraiser: 3-9 p.m. Nov. 27 at Pizza Barn, 1544 Highway 395, Gardnerville

Donations can be made In memory of MJ at Wells Fargo account No. 5053066451 all proceeds go to breath of hope

Shannon Minder (530) 208-6421