Today Is A Good Day!

Letters to William

Martha & Paul Sharkey, Founders, Today is a Good Day

In November 2010, we launched into the overwhelming world of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) when our daughters were born at just 23 weeks and 5 days. We faced daily challenges including the loss of our daughter, Mary Gladys, two weeks into our NICU journey. Our daughter, Claire, weighing only 15oz. faced an uncertain future. Suffering from grades 3 and 4 brain bleeds, anemia, and meningitis we were not sure she would survive. If Claire lived, we were not sure if she would be able to walk or talk later in life.  

Munchkins with Mary

Submitted by Paul Sharkey, Founder, TODAY is a Good Day
I don’t talk about it a lot. The death of my daughter Mary on November 28, 2010.  Why don’t I?

  1. It is awkward. When asked how many kids do you have; it is much easier to say “two”. It is harder to explain “three and one is in heaven”. Most people are looking to hear “two” and move on with their day. Once you say “three and one in heaven”, it leads to more questions and the inevitable “I am so sorry for your loss”. 
  2. It is emotional. As a man, I don’t usually talk about my emotions often. Sometimes I will with my wife but even that is rare.

‘One Day at a Time’ with a Trisomy 18 Diagnosis

Submitted by Martha Sharkey, Founder, TODAY is a Good Day

Our third pregnancy and fourth child…I have started to feel him move! I’m 22 weeks and 5 days. It is hard to believe Claire and Mary arrived just one week from today when I was pregnant with them. The small flutters of movement hit me at different times, mostly when I’m waking up in the morning. Everything feels as it should at 22 weeks except that our son, William Richard, has been diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a chromosomal abnormality with an extremely poor prognosis. You can learn more about Trisomy 18 here.   

You don’t have to say “I’m sorry” when you ask me how many kids I have

written by Martha Sharkey, Founder TODAY Is A Good Day

Every single morning, she is there. She’s with me when I wake up. Thoughts of her come to me at different times throughout the day.

She was with us for 2 weeks…our “stronger” twin, twin B who weighed 1lb. 4oz. compared to her sister who weighed only 1lb. 2oz. when they were born at just 23 weeks & 5 days. She opened her eyes first. She had the better start in life…and then she passed away in our arms at 2:15pm on Sunday, November 28, 2010, the weekend after Thanksgiving. We knew her time with us was limited. She had been very sick for the past few days.

As a parent who has lost a child, the hole in my heart never seems to heal. I can feel the small hole that was left the day our Mary Gladys passed away. We believe she earned her angel wings that day. And, while we believe she is watching over us, days still present difficult moments even seven years into this journey.

Through our lives we meet others who have traveled not only the NICU journey but also the journey of losing a child. The difficult moments, the “what ifs,” and the thoughts will always be there. The hole is always present. 

Q&A: TODAY is a Good Day’s Martha Sharkey

from Mainline Today
The nonprofit's president and founder shares her story.
In 2010, Wyndmoor’s Martha Sharkey learned that she and her husband were expecting. When she was just 23 weeks pregnant, Sharkey went into labor, delivering twins Claire and Mary. The girls were immediately admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit at Abington Memorial Hospital. Two weeks later, Mary passed. Another three months after that, a thriving Claire was released and sent home with her parents. To honor their daughters and aid parents on a similar journey, the Sharkeys launched a nonprofit in 2014 called Today Is a Good Day to provide emotional and financial support. 

TODAY is a Good Day partners with The Superhero Project - Your donations at work!

The mission of TODAY is a Good Day is to provide personal and financial support for families with premature babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Through the generous support of our donors, TODAY is a Good Day partnered with another local non-profit, The Superhero Project, to provide a $10,000 grant to Einstein Medical Center. A portion of the funding will be used to purchase hospital-grade rocking chairs for parents to use when visiting their premature babies in the NICU. 

The Parent Trip

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently featured our journey as part of their Parent Trip section. We are so pleased and honored to have our story shared and hope that it can help other families who are seeking to navigate the NICU as we did. 


As seen on the 6 ABC, Philadelphia website
ABINGTON, Pa. (WPVI -- A local couple is helping parents with babies in the NICU, or neonatal ICU. 

Read about the Sharkey's journey...

You can read all about the Sharkey's journey here: