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As the sisters got together and brainstormed what we could do this holiday season, we threw around a lot of ideas - 12 days of fudge recipe, our favorite Christmas cookies, even 12 days of giveaways . . . but nothing felt right. Then we had a new idea- what if we found 12 families who could use a little bit of extra help and love this holiday season?
Last year we were blown away by the thoughtfulness of our readers as we helped one family who was going through a hard time, so this year we decided that we would go a little further and help 12 families! To us, we feel the most joy when we focus on what the holidays are really all about and we believe that the true meaning of Christmas is to love and serve others. With that being said, we are so excited to bring to you our 12 Days of Giving Back!For the next 12 days, we will be introducing you to 12 different families who were nominated by our readers as people who could use a little extra help this during this time. We received HUNDREDS of nominations and each story touched our hearts. The 12 that we chose really had an impact on us and we knew that we needed to help them.
Day 6: The Liberto Family
David and Frances Liberto have 3 children, a girl (4 1/2) and 2 boys (2 1/2 and 4 months). While David works as a registered nurse in a local emergency department, Frances stays home with the children. The Liberto kids are home schooled and the family actively participates in their church community.
In April 2013, the Libertos learned that their unborn baby boy had a severe congenital heart defect (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, or HLHS) and would require the first of 3 open-heart surgeries within days of his birth. After 3 anxious months, Martin was born in July, survived his first surgery, and spent 7 weeks in the hospital recovering. With the help of family and friends, David and Frances were able to juggle staying with Martin in the hospital, getting David to work, and caring for their other 2 children at home.
Because Martin's heart defect and surgical recovery affected his ability to suck and swallow properly, he got a G-tube and still receives all his nutrition via tube. Frances has pumped round the clock since Martin was born and is grateful to be able to provide him with all the benefits of breast milk. But managing Martin's medical needs, medical paperwork, the home, and the older kids while remaining sane has been very challenging. Martin's fragility requires the Libertos to be extra vigilant about his oxygenation status, progressive weight gain, and exposure to germs, and so they keep him home most of the time. Martin is growing well and the Libertos are looking ahead with hope to his next open-heart surgery (probably in January).
During the stressful pregnancy due to Martin's prenatal diagnosis and Frances' gestational diabetes, the Libertos received news of David's acceptance into graduate school. They had previously discerned that David's pursuit of a Masters of Science in Nursing while he continued working to support the family would be difficult but worthwhile; becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner would allow David to help people in need of healing, support his growing family, and manage Martin’s extensive medical bills. Though the Libertos were daunted by the prospect of adding David's two-hour commutes and hours of studying to their family life after Martin's arrival, they decided to make the investment. David began classes while Martin was still in the hospital and just took his final exam for the semester yesterday (December 5th).
The Liberto family is grateful for all the ways God has blessed them, especially through the love, support, and prayers of many friends and strangers. Martin is a great gift, bringing people together and reminding everyone of God's love and faithfulness.
Paying for school, open heart surgeries, hospital stays, and all the other little things, money is tight. Please help us by giving the Liberto Family a Christmas this year for their 3 little children.
Thank you for your support and prayers in behalf of the Liberto Family!
You can donate to the Liberto Family by clicking Here:
All money donated during the 12 Days of Giving Back will go directly to the families and the specific bank accounts that they have set up through PayPal. All families chosen for this have been thoroughly screened and we feel you can donate confidently, knowing that your donation is going to a most-deserving family.