Baby Shane – A short life with a lot of love

It’s incredible the mark one person can make on the world. Baby Shane Michael Haley’s birth and death certificates show the exact same date, but in his short life he achieved something that many others spend decades trying to do: he united people and along with his parents Jenna and Dan, he showed us what it is to love.

Perhaps you’ve already heard of Baby Shane. Pennsylvania. When his parents Jenna and Dan Haley, from Pennsylvania, found out that he had anencephaly and probably would not live for very long outside of his mother’s womb, they created a bucket list for him and documented their adventures together on their facebook page for him – Prayers for Shane. They wanted to make memories with Shane and show him all their favourite places and things to do. They decided to show Shane some of the things he might have done and places he might have visited if he were to live longer.

BabyShane

It became a bucket list for Shane: things to do – before he was born. He got to do all the things a family does: visit a farm, going to a football game, playing on the beach, a trip to the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 memorial in New York City. He became known as The Bucket List Baby.

“One thing we would want people to take away is that each human life is so valuable and that it’s important to live each day to its fullest potential,” Dan said before Shane was born.

This family hit on something that is so important in helping parents facing this devastating diagnosis: that the time before birth can, and should, be important and celebrated, because that time may be a considerable part of the life this family will have together.

Dan and Jenna bravely embraced hope, and endeavoured to make the most of the time they had with Shane. Because they let love shine through, Baby Shane has had a big impact on the world. His facebook page has over 960, 000 ‘likes’. This brave family’s story has also received attention in the media with CNN, Fox, ABC and others reporting on Shane’s story, while his story also received major international attention. Their page is flooded with messages of support, and parents sharing the stories of their own children who did not live for very long after birth. I think it’s fair to say it is becoming an online community of support.

Jenna and Dan chose love and hope when they could have been overcome by despair. The world owes much gratitude to this family for sharing their story with us. It’s a reminder to treasure every moment we have on this earth. This family has also created awareness of the condition and brought support and encouragement to many other families facing similar diagnoses.

At the end of each year, people tend to do a ‘Round up’ of the ‘Top 10/20/50’ most memorable moments of the year. I hope that when we look back on 2014, I will remember Baby Shane Michael Haley and his parents, who reminded me to make the most of every moment we have with our loved ones, and that every life has meaning and is precious.

Dan posted a beautiful tribute to Shane who lived for 4 hours after birth, surrounded by love.

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Please keep scrolling to let this beautiful family tell you their own story through their photos and some posts, or visit their page.

As Ireland debates the possibility of legalising abortion for babies like Shane, we should do all we can to share the courage and the love of his wonderful family, and of the Irish families too, whose similar stories you can see at Every Life Counts.

Rest in Peace Baby Shane. You brought so much love into the world, and that’s a huge achievement.

 

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Author: MaryAnne

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I’m just a student with a dream, there’s nothing very unusual about that. But my dream affects every person in the world.  It’s a dream that I share with millions of others; I dream of a day when nobody will be denied their right to life. The right to life is the most fundamental right of all and without it all other rights are pointless. This is not just a personal issue; this is the biggest human rights abuse of our time. Those of us who are alive cannot deny this right to others. I hope that our grandchildren’s generation will look back on this period in history with astonishment and disgust. We can be certain that they will ask the same question that we do of past generations, “Why was this allowed to happen?”  We cannot stand back while our brothers and sisters are being denied their right to life. Life is a right for all, not just the strong and powerful. So let’s stand up for life, from conception to natural death. We can all make a difference – you, me, everybody!

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