Mahtomedi Couple Building 'Aaron's Playground' to Honor Late Son

Craig and Becky Markovitz hold their son, Aaron, who died at seven weeks old of chronic lung disease.
Mahtomedi couple Becky and Craig Markovitz are creating a playground to honor their son’s memory.

When Becky Markovitz was six months pregnant with the couple’s first child, she experienced pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition that often requires babies to be delivered before term. In August 2018, their son, Aaron Zachary, was born 11 weeks early with a birth weight of two pounds, three ounces. Like many premature babies, Aaron’s lungs weren’t developed and he received ventilator support in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Seven weeks after he was born, Aaron passed away as a result of chronic lung disease caused by scar tissue which sometimes occurs when premature babies receive oxygen through a breathing machine.

To honor Aaron’s memory, the Markovitzes are raising funds for what will be known as Aaron’s Playground, a space where kids of all ages can experience joy, to be located in Mahtomedi’s Southwest Park. Their fundraising goal is $100,000.

“We want to bring families the kind of happiness Aaron brought to our lives,” says Becky.

Mark your calendars for a Family Fun fundraising festival complete with food trucks, bouncy houses and more on September 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Southwest Park to raise funds for Aaron’s Playground. Entrance is free.

If you would like to contribute to Aaron’s Playground, visit the GoFundMe page.

Watch for an article to learn more about the Markovitz’s story in our September/October issue.