Charity Sambo, BJJ, MMA Seminar - Jackson, MS - 3/8/08
I will be participating in a charity seminar at:
1006 Top St Suite H
Flowood, MS. 39232
on March 8th, 2008.
I will be covering Sambo Ankle and Leg Submissions. I am honored to be teaching along with Travis Neagle (Royce Gracie BJJ brown belt), Renato Tavares (Carlson Gracie SR. 4th degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu Black Belt), and Rich Clementi (UFC veteran and The Ulimate Fighter season 4 contestant).
This event is to benefit Kaiden Reese Blakeney, who was born prematurely on 10/6/2007 (read story below).
This seminar is only $35! It is a must attend!
For more information about this event, please contact Mark Blankeney at: [email protected]
December 24, 2007 The baby was born the size of a shampoo bottle but only half as heavy. He was not supposed to survive this long. He cannot breathe normally on his own and does not do well when he is touched. And yet, here is Kaiden, brought into this world by Caesarean section Oct. 6 weighing 1 pound, 1 ounce. He was 11 inches long. Kaiden was born 15 weeks early.
He has grown to 3 1/2 pounds, and about 14 inches, but his survival is still not assured. He is still breathing with lungs that do not work right, and he's housed in an isolette, one of those clear plastic boxes.
His parents have never held him, but are at his side every day. The first thing on his big sister's Christmas list is for him to leave the neonatal intensive care unit at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and go home to Laurel, 90 miles to the southeast. That is not going to happen soon. Which means Shaun and Mark Blakeney needed to squeeze a Christmas tree into their room at the Ronald McDonald House on UMC's campus.
"Here it is," said Shaun. "This is our Christmas tree." She was pointing at a small, felt-like ornament hanging from a picture hook on the wall. The Blakeneys have been at Ronald McDonald House since not long after Kaiden's birth.
Shaun said doctors have told her to expect him to be in the hospital until at least February. He needs the kind of specialized care that is available nowhere in Mississippi but UMC. It would be impossible to drive all the way from Laurel to Jackson every day, so the Blakeneys thank goodness for Ronald McDonald House.
"We are so blessed to be here and be on this campus to be close to our son," Shaun said. "It's a hidden secret." They are one of more than a dozen families that will probably be there over Christmas. Tippy Garner, the house's events and development coordinator, said about 500 families each year stay there. The program is designed for families who are from outside the Jackson area and whose children are in town for lifesaving medical care.
Often, that means a child injured in a car accident, a cancer patient or a severely premature baby such as Kaiden. The house has 16 hotellike rooms, four full kitchens, a large dining room and other accommodations. It is almost always full or close to it. Sometimes there's a waiting list. More than half the families who stay there pay nothing; the rest pay only $8 a day.
Garner said operating expenses are taken care of through donations and volunteers. The program has only four full-time employees and two part-timers. If not for Ronald McDonald house, the Blakeneys might be in serious trouble.
Shaun, 37, has suffered from thyroid problems her whole life, she said. She was having trouble over the summer, and was in and out of the doctor's office many times. On one occasion, they shocked her with news of her pregnancy. She was already four months along. She and Mark, 29, who'd met last year when they both worked at the mall in Laurel, married and planned for their future.
They'd raise Shaun's daughter, Laken Davis, 9, and their new baby together. But Shaun's health problems persisted. Surgery was scheduled for February to remove her thyroid. And then, her blood pressure measured 230 over 200. Doctors worried about a condition called preeclampsia, hypertension during pregnancy, that can harm both the mother and the baby. In fact, Kaiden was having what are called brain bleeds. He needed to be born if he was to survive.
The day before the surgery to give birth to Kaiden, the experts prepared the Blakeneys for the worst. "They told me he would probably live 30 minutes," Shaun said. He lived, though just barely.
He looked like a pink skeleton when he was born. "He was little bitty," said Shaun. "He could fit in your hand." Mark commuted back and forth between Jackson and the Coast for three weeks until he finished training to become a truck driver. Now, both he and Shaun are at the Ronald McDonald House full time. They spend all day, every day by Kaiden's bedside, they said. They sleep at Ronald McDonald. They will celebrate Christmas there with family, who will make the drive from Laurel, they said.
Laken, who will be 10 next month, has been staying with her grandmother. She visits on the weekends. "Santa knows where she's at," Shaun said
Wow. In Jackson? I'm close enough that attending this one just might be an option!
Great! I hope you can make it :)
I will try to make it . Oh considering it's at my second home I will be there learning leg Leg locks .
Sweet! We will have to take some pics to post here!
Sambo Steve, you're awesome.
We are all teaching. You get all of us for $35. That is my understanding. E-mail Mark to confirm, but I am pretty sure that is the deal. I am looking forward to learning from those guys as well!
If you can go to this, please do; Sambosteve is a stand-up dude and this sort of crap makes me cry-Oprah style.
I am fed-exing you a tissue Serge
nah, I'll try to suck it up. But a really nice event...