Dede Dankelson

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Be the hero of your own story

Hi, I'm Dede and the owner/founder of Pete's Diary.  I've been married to my husband, Darin, for 21 years, and we have two teenage boys who've given me much joy and many gray hairs!  I am an avid reader, dog walker, technology lover, and very proud Hockey Mom.

I truly believe that one act of kindness can change someone's life and that is why I am so passionate about ending social isolation, curing lonliness, and cultivating communities of kindness.

I started Pete's Diary in the pre-scoial media days of 2000 after my oldest son, Peter, was born prematurely with medical complications.  My email updates about Peter's medical progress evolved into a daily diary of his first months in the neo-natal intensive care unit.  This quickly became a morning coffee read for our family and friends who shared it far and wide. (Click here to read more about the early days of Pete's Diary.)

Fast forward four years to the arrival of my second son, Jacob, who made his own dramatic entrance.  Jacob's rear-end was cut by a scapel during the c-section, and he needed stitches.  Nurses quicly stitched him up and placed him in my arms.  It was then that the scars on my heart from Peter's traumatic birth finally healed.

Because our initiation into parenthood was so challenging and not at all what I imagined, I feel a deep desire to help other parents walking a similar path.  I serve on the Board of Directors for Children's Craniofacial Association and was a founding member of the Family-Advisory Council at Children's Hospital of Michigan.  I've also been a parent representative for Michigan's CHIP program and an advocate for Children's Hospital Association in Washington D.C.

I love connecting with other families in the craniofacial, medical, and disability communities.  I've been a faculty speaker at hosptials and medical conferences as well as a contributor to various blogs and publications related to pediatric healthcare, school culture, and overcoming adversity.

Contact me directly at

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