Tim McGraw is wishing his youngest daughter, Audrey, a happy 17th birthday in a sweet post shared to social media on Thursday, along with pictures of the teenager.
"17 years ago, this little precious jewel came almost 8 weeks early to us!!" McGraw wrote. "So tiny, but so strong! Her mom, her sisters and I love her endlessly..... she is our baby girl and she has grown into an incredibly smart, beautiful and powerful young woman who will be a light in the world!! Happy Birthday Audrey Caroline McGraw...You are loved beyond measure...Dad."
In a separate post, McGraw also shared video encouraging others to support The Next Breath, part of the ongoing initiative of Vanderbilt University, where Audrey was likely treated, to give premature babies the best care possible.
"Imagine fighting to take your next breath," McGraw shared. "It’s something we all take for granted, but for so many babies born prematurely this is their reality. Join me in supporting a cause close to my family’s heart and Give To The Next Breath."
In the video, McGraw explained the predicament many premature newborns face – a nightmare he and his wife, Faith Hill, experienced firsthand.
"Right now, there are 15 million babies fighting for their next breath," shared McGraw. "As the father of a child who began her life in intensive care, I know the importance of The Next Breath. There's a place of hope ... There's still work to be done, and we can't do it alone. Their next breath is up to you. Give to the next breath. Give to the next breakthrough."
Hill previously revealed that the family, which also includes 21-year-old daughter, Gracie, and Maggie, 20, celebrate Audrey's birthday by putting up their Christmas tree.
"She was eight weeks premature, and we were finally able to bring her home the day before Christmas Eve," Hill told Good Housekeeping. "So this time of year just feels extra-special to us. And now, every year, to celebrate Audrey's birthday, we decorate the tree on the sixth. It's a little bit of a challenge, keeping a live tree fresh for the entire month of December. But there's no other way we'd do it: We decorate on the sixth, and it has to be a live tree."
For more information on The Next Breath, visit their website.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Kevin Mazur