How It All Began
Project Cuddle, Inc. is the result of one woman’s crusade to help prevent infants from being abandoned. She wasn’t even aware of the reason why she was so obsessed with this issue since she was the age of 8. At that age, Debbe Magnusen was taken to an orphanage in Mexico where she held a bowl and flashlight while her father, Dr. Richard Pyle, a dentist, pulled the teeth of the orphans. She remembered thinking on the way home back to Newport Beach CA, that someday she wanted to help stop babies from being abandoned, but she wasn’t sure exactly why she felt this desire so strongly. But she would learn in the future...
At the age of 58, after creating Project Cuddle's Crisis Hot-Line and saving over 600 babies, Debbe started her fourth book “The Baby Saver”. One day she asked her mom, Scotty, while sitting on the edge of her hospital bed, “Mommy, why am I so obsessed with abandoned babies?” Her mother put her finger to her chin, looked up at Debbe, and said, “Maybe it has something to do with that dirty, homeless man who was looking for food on the heap of trash right outside the orphanage…” Debbe then put her hand out and said, “Wait, Stop! I know the rest!”. She then relayed her memory of sitting at the little white table, eating raccoon stew with the orphans and remembered hearing the bell outside the front door clang. The orphans all got up and ran over to the door, and then the woman in charge opened the door, and the homeless man entered the orphanage holding a filthy, screaming, naked newborn, whose umbilical cord was still and placenta were still attached. Debbe then realized she was so traumatized by this memory, that she has blocked it out for 50 years.
Eventually, she fostered over 35 drug-exposed babies while raising two “original model” children. Five of those wonderful little ones were adopted and became part of the Magnusen family. When doing training seminars Debbe has always said, “Drug exposed babies can be wonderful people too. They don’t have 5 heads and 4 noses”. She’s very proud to say that they have all gone on to lead very successful in the careers in industries they are passionate about.
Debbe is the author of books, “It’s Never Dull!” and “Don’t Abandon Your Baby!”, as well a Training Manual on Caring for Drug-Exposed Babies, which covers bonding and improving the control of withdrawal symptoms for drug-exposed babies to make life easier for both the baby and the parent(s) caring for this precious newborn.
She is currently working on her newest book “The Baby Saver”, as well as working on negotiating rights to either a series or movie based on her action-packed life of saving babies from abandonment, and helping the Birthmom make a safe and legal choice. Each book shares true and unbelievable adventures of girls/women that kept their pregnancies a secret and babies that were almost abandoned.
Lives have changed because Debbe, Volunteers, as well as those Rescue Families who were willing to step forward and adopt a baby that otherwise could have had a tragic ending. These people have come together to help save babies across the country and into Canada.
In 1996 Project Cuddle’s crisis line was created in the corner of the living room of Debbe’s home, with the hope of ending baby abandonment. Within 12 hours of opening the 24-hour hotline, Project Cuddle got its first crisis call. A frightened woman who had hidden her pregnancy from everyone she knew was due to deliver any day and had no prenatal care. This woman had been raped and hated her baby, so there was no time to waste. Debbe had only days to orchestrate a safe and legal alternative to abandonment.
Project Cuddle was able to retain an attorney, a family wanting to rescue and adopt the baby, as well as an OB/Gyn, hospital, & Social Counselor. Debbe coached this woman through the delivery of a beautiful baby girl….Baby #1. To her amazement, the woman stated, “I feel like, for the first time in my life, I’ve done something I can be proud of.”
Not only was a family made and the Birthmom didn’t break the law, but we were able to save the government the expense of searching for the woman and then prosecute her if found, as well as the cost for her other child ending up in “the system”, and possibly the newborn ending up there as well or...in a burial plot.
Sadly this could have been rescue Baby #199, but because this young teenager knew nothing about Project Cuddle's Crisis Hot-Line this little one did not survive and Project Cuddle ended up not only paying for the casket, the gown the baby was buried in, and the burial plot of this baby, they also arranged for the service and many of their volunteers attended, while the young teen went to Juvenile Hall and eventually Prison.
Can you believe that John Stamos "kidnapped" his friend Debbe in a blacked-out limo?
One of the most exciting experiences that John Stamos helped create for his friend Debbe Magnusen- “The Baby Saver”, was to “kidnap” her in a blacked-out limo, and take her to an undisclosed destination where he and Oprah surprised her at Disneyland with almost 200 of the newborns she had rescued from all over the country, including the newest rescue that was only two weeks old at the time. To see this exciting video, please click HERE
John Stamos, Former National Spokesperson for Project Cuddle for over 15 years, having helped Rescue hundreds of lives, including Baby #569.
Tragically, Babies are being Abandoned Across Our Nation approximately 57 times each day!
Think about it...we have all heard of at least 1 baby that has been abandoned.
(According to a study done by the Denver-based American Humane Association).
Since its inception, Project Cuddle has saved over 860 babies across the United States and Canada, even into the Virgin Isles & Australia, from the fate of being abandoned... or worse.
With the help of John Stamos, former National Spokesperson for over 15 years, John and Debbe were Executive Producers on “The Believe Campaign” video project. They created a school DVD that has been distributed to high schools, colleges, universities, and prisons across the nation. Hundreds of more lives have been rescued due to this project.
Check out the video HERE: