[saturday] Calling All Angels 2: A Benefit for Friends of Emilia @ Radio

Around this time last year, a music community came together for the Di Guardia family. United by the memory of baby Emilia Marie, who passed away a few short weeks after birth, the first CALLING ALL ANGELS benefit brought good spirits and teary-eyed memories to T.T. The Bear's in Cambridge. It also brought the music, as Casey Desmond, Gem Club, Spirit Kid, Sidewalk Driver and a handful of others filled a sunny Cambridge afternoon with the goal of raising money for the Beth Israel Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Much has changed for the Di Guardia family since then, as Chris and Danyelle welcomed their first son Cameron into their world in September. But they still haven't forgotten about their daughter and the people at the NICU. As they prepare for CALLING ALL ANGELS 2, which touches down at Radio this Saturday, December 3 and features performances by former Sunbeam JESSICA SUN LEE, 2011 Rumble winner JOHN POWHIDA, FULL BODY ANCHOR, BLACK THAI, and latest Midriff Records addition AGE RINGS, we asked Chris to share some thoughts on how the Di Guardias are still a part of the NCIU family. These are his words:

One of the major things that my wife Danyelle and I always say about Friends of Emilia is that we started it to help all of “Emilia’s little friends,” meaning the tiny patients in the Beth Israel Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

It was our way to give something positive back and maybe help out other little ones and keep her footprint as strong in the world as it is in our hearts. I shouldn’t say we never dreamed we’d be in this position, but we certainly never thought we’d be helping ourselves.

This past September, our son Cameron was born. He was born at 35 weeks (compared to Emilia’s 29), and being born at 35 weeks gets you an instant ticket to the NICU for at least 24 hours. So the afternoon of September 12, I was taking the elevator down to the ninth floor at Beth Israel, about to step foot in the same place that I hadn’t been since that awful July day last year -– I was about to say hello to my son just a few yards away from the place I was forced to say goodbye to my daughter. We were again NICU parents, with all the rights, privileges and worries hereby afforded us by that title.

Cameron’s trip through the NICU was different than Emilia’s -– after a few short days, his room was moved to the less-intense section (“Closer to the door,” our nurse told us), and the nurses and doctors started talking about him coming home.

We never took Emilia home.

Just shy of two weeks later, we did take him home. He looks just like Emilia – especially when he gets angry. We were thankful before for the great job the NICU staff did in taking care of Emilia, and now we are doubly thankful for the great job that they did taking care of our little buddy Cameron.

We plan on telling Cameron all about his older sister, especially the multitude of ways in which she helped him. We couldn’t dream of anything better for Friends of Emilia, and we will continue to work for the NICU at Beth Israel for the rest of our lives.


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