In memory of our beautiful boys, Colin & Griffin Chapman
(written August 2017, see bottom for 2021 update)
Colin & Griffin. Colin & Griffin.
Colin & Griffin. Colin & Griffin.
Three months later and I still say those names over and over in my head on an hourly basis. Our boys… Colin & Griffin. We had tried for seven months to conceive a second child. In January 2017, that second pink line finally appeared. On February 24th, we had our first ultrasound and our OB asked us how we felt about going from one child to three… TWINS! Other than the day our first son Ben was born, I have never felt such elation in my heart.
We were to meet our boys this September, though in my mind, I was hoping to carry them at least until August. Our first son was born at 36 weeks and, in all probability, the twins would be premature too. Like expecting parents do, we made plans (how to help Ben adjust, how to arrange the twins nursery, transitioning big brother to a big boy bed, nursing twins, which stroller for twins and a toddler, how to stay connected to your partner while raising three kids). We were thrilled and there was so much joy and heartfelt excitement for our growing family of five.
Then came the storm. I awoke in the middle of the night with contractions about six minutes apart. I was only 23 weeks along. The ambulance raced us to the hospital and when the triage nurse said “six centimeters, bulging bag” I knew we weren’t going to be bringing Colin & Griffin home in the way we had hoped. In that moment, I knew Ben would only know of his twin brothers through stories and pictures. The boys were born at 0231 and 0238 on Memorial Day, May 29th, 2017. We held them skin to skin on my chest, feeling them wiggle their warm, small bodies together. Colin’s cry is a permanent echo in my mind. Griffin looked just like Ben, down to the nose, brow and chin. These are the memories of our children.
As the time ticks by and our official due date creeps closer and closer, I wonder how things would be if I could have protected them a little while longer. I realize a NICU stay at Nationwide Children’s Hospital would have been a possible gift, relatively speaking, had they been a few weeks further along. I wish they could have had that chance. I also realize that the possibility of having another premature birth without intervention is high, as the most reliable predictor of preterm birth is previous preterm births – meaning any future children of ours may have a stay at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Which brings us to now. In times of challenge and struggle, I fall on some dependable, consistent coping mechanisms – one of them being running. I usually say it’s cheaper than therapy and antidepressants, however I’m currently utilizing both of those as well ;) Since 2003, I’ve completed three full marathons and nine half marathons (how many mid-life crises are we alotted again?). I feel compelled to do more than just run the half marathon this year. I want to raise money for Nationwide Childrens Hospital to go towards the wonderful services they provide for so many children and families – the care I wish they could have provided to our Colin & Griffin.
My goal is $15,000... FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS! I’m anxious as I type that – It’s a lot of money! But I believe in many things: the HOPE that is given to so many by Nationwide Childrens Hospital, the PROGRESS in research that will eventually find ways to prevent preterm births, the KNOWLEDGE that Colin & Griffin know how much we love them, and the COMMUNITY of friends and family that continue to shower us with love, grace and patience. Reaching $5000 memorializes Colin & Griffin's names on a wagon, NCH's preferred mode of patient transportation since the 1960s. (http://700childrens.nationwidechildrens.org/the-story-behind-our-wagons/)
Please donate and help me reach my goal of $15,000. Here are some examples of how the monies can be utilized:
-$30 buys 1 pack of diapers for premature babies; these tiniest of patients use more than 350,000 diapers each year.
-$100 covers music therapy; music therapy is a natural healer and mood booster for patients of any diagnosis.
-$1000 will support five scholarships to summer camp in a medically-safe environment so they can do what they do best – be kids!
While there's still an abundance of moments that bring us to our knees, we are learning to carry our grief with more grace and courage as each day passes. Thank you for taking the time to read our story and I hope you are able to donate in memory of our Colin & Griffin.
All our love,
Grace Chapman & Family
UPDATE August 2021:
Colin & Griffin’s Gang 2021 is underway!
We would be honored and humbled if you would join Colin & Griffin’s Gang 2021. There are many ways to celebrate them. I hope one or more of them suit wherever you are at this season of your life.
- We would love to continue our donations in their memory to Nationwide Children’s Hospital so that children and families there have the extra support and goodies to pass the time until they go home.
- We also would love for you to purchase a t-shirt! Design TBD but it you have a thought, PM or text me! I’m open to ideas for sure! Window to order shirts will be in September. Half the proceeds go to NCH via Colin & Griffin’s Gang thanks once again to Chad Brogan.
- Walk/Run the half/full Sunday morning October 17, 2021. It’s one of the absolute best runs in the country and when you run by NCH around mile 8 you’ll feel gratitude you won’t soon forget. Kids cheering from their windows with their families may take your breath away more than your physical exertion.
- Cheer at the Angel Mile (mile 11) with C+G Gang!!! All our family and friends cheering and remembering all the angels we are missing today will elevate your heart and your purpose.
Please reach out with any questions 937-974-0243. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for still walking along side us and remembering Colin & Griffin.