A Labour of Love


The Power of One

“The world is not a dream, but a reality, of which we are the chief part,and in which we must be up and doing something. Come out into the world about you, be it either wide or limited. Sympathize, not in thought only, but in action, with all about you. Make yourself known and felt for something that would be loved and missed, in twenty thousand little ways, if you were to die; then your life will be a happy one, believe me.” Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

The doctors reported, three hours shy of our daughter’s first full day of life, they were having difficulty stabilizing her. We sat and stared at the monitor, cocooned in the dings and beeps of the University of Maryland Medical Center NICU, afraid to feel.

She spent seven hundred and twenty hours in the NICU. There was always a team of doctors, nurses, therapists, nutritionists, and technicians focused on results, tests, plans, goals, measurements, and improvements.  These super humans devoted with a smile, selfless dedication, and intense determination two million, two hundred ninety-two thousand seconds of their lives. Thirty days later, on Easter Sunday morning, they reported, in awe, she was healthy, thriving, and ready to go home. Small fists can pack a big punch. Elliesofia fought for an entire month to breathe, eat, and move on her own.

Her will was and is like fire. It holds on to its surroundings and creates a path for itself. But alone she was not.  Inspired and intrigued about what would lead someone to work twelve to forty-eight hour shifts, give up family time, personal time, sunlight to help others. My writer’s brain filled with a thousand whys. Those questions led me to write A Labour of Love series. This collection of interviews is about people who choose to give their time, talents, money, and sweat to improve the lives of others repeatedly simply because they can.

The interviews in the Labor of Love series are part of different full-length articles and a book I’m working on. Here you will be able to get a glimpse into the reasons, the life, the process, or the impact these incredible people have via their commitment. I dedicate this series to the amazing team at the University of Maryland Medical Center NICU. My family embraces the joy they made possible every day. Thank you.

This is a writer’s process blog. Here I share snippets of interviews and stories as I create and venture the writing life. I welcome you to peek into the world of some curiously dedicated people and loving families. Leave behind your thoughts, constructive feedback, encouragement, and words of wisdom.

Live life with joy and love.

Catalina Sofia Dansberger Duque


Elliesofia on her second day holding hands with her moms. Elliesofia a year later enjoying life.

Elliesofia on her second day holding hands with her moms. Elliesofia a year later enjoying life.


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