Cayden Dubbeld Bee Mighty/NICU blanket Drive

The idea was started by one mom, in honor of her 3-year-old son, Cayden.
The drive idea was started by one mom, in honor of her 3-year-old son, Cayden
The drive idea was started by one mom, in honor of her 3-year-old son, Cayden(WBTV)
Published: Sep. 10, 2022 at 10:21 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Starting today and going until September 18th, a blanket drive to benefit local NICU babies is happening across Charlotte. You can donate new and gently-used blankets to both Levine Children’s and Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital.... the idea was started by one mom, in honor of her 3-year-old son, Cayden.

This is a picture of Cayden. He is the newest one of our amazing #MollysKids. Cayden Dubbeld spent 113 days at Levine Children’s at birth. If you look at him today, his mom says you’d never know he was born a preemie. “He is a true NICU miracle,” Laura Dubbeld said. “I feel like so many of the amazing kids you feature have such incredible challenges. We don’t take for granted how lucky we are with Cayden.”

Cayden’s life began when Laura woke up one day at 25 weeks pregnant, and started having contractions. “I assumed they were Braxton hicks,” she said. “But the regularity concerned me and we were advised to go to the hospital. Little did I know, Cayden would arrive in an emergency c-section a mere two hours later. He was extremely sick. His lungs were incredibly undeveloped and honestly, he could have easily died. We were consistently told in the first weeks of his life that he should not be doing as well as he was based on his scans.” As anyone who has ever had a child in NICU knows, it can be a rollercoaster.

Every time there’s a step forward, another might soon head back. It took 30 days into their many-months-NICU-stay for Laura and her husband Matt to get reassurance their baby would eventually come home. “Took 113 days, but Cayden finally met his older sister, Grace, and came home with us,” Laura said. “Amazingly, he left LCH needing no additional medical support and over the past 2-plus years, he has thrived. He still gets ongoing physical therapy (to help close the gap between milestones he “should” be hitting and “is” hitting), but given what he went through, he is the most amazing boy.” He’s also fiercely independent. Laura says Cayden loves scooting, playgrounds, being super silly, and adores his big sister.

Because Laura and Matt know from experience that NICU’s can run low on colorful blankets, they started this blanket drive to honor the NICU team on Cayden’s 1st birthday a couple years ago. This year they are expanding to both hospitals on a larger scale BECAUSE of a great partnership they now have with Bee Mighty. Never heard of Bee Mighty? Oh…. you should. It’s a great Charlotte-based non-profit started by two parents who had a preemie son born in Charlotte. They help local families with extra therapies and things not always covered by insurance.

Please check out Bee Mighty if you haven’t before. **NOTE: Bee Mighty has its 10th annual fundraising gala coming up in October that I’m emceeing >>

But… As for this blanket drive…

That everyone can get in on now...

There are drop-off boxes around Charlotte. I’ll put a flyer below in comments that lists all locations. Or, you could buy new blankets through a QR-code, listed in a separate flyer, also below.

Welcome to #MollysKids, Cayden. Already making a difference at the ripe age of three.