Can you believe it has been 8 years since my babies were in the NICU at Akron Children’s Hospital? Can you believe that it has been almost 4 years since their brother joined them?
Can you believe it has been 8 years since we were questioning whether Sam, Anna, Ellie and Becca would walk or talk or even live until the next day?
To celebrate their NICU graduation, this summer our children will walk, run, or bike ride the length of their NICU stays. Evan, our 3 year old, will be riding 5 miles, to remember his short NICU stay (hey, why should the big kids have all the fun?). Ellie will be riding 77 miles to remember that she was home first and an only child for a few weeks. Anna will be traveling 97 miles to honor her 97 days in the NICU. Both Becca and Sam will travel 98 days to commemorate their NICU stays. You can check out their progress on our spreadsheet tracker by reaching out to our team captain, Katy. If you would like to walk, run or ride a mile or 2 to help us reach our goal of a total of 375 miles by October 4th, please let Katy know, and she will add your information.
We are also asking friends and family to sponsor a mile or 2 for each kid (or your favorite kid) to support the work that Walk for Babies has done for families in the NICU. Our goal is to raise $2 per mile, for a total of $750.
Donations given through Walk for Babies include bedside cameras, kangaroo chairs, and parking passes. These cameras allow family and friends to see the precious children from home in a time when they would not be able to be visited by anyone other than a parent. Kanagroo chairs provide mothers with a place to sit and provide skin to skin contact with their children. And new this year, Walk for Babies is looking into providing the NICU with more ventilators that have improved technology to help the tiniest of lungs keep working.
Walk for Babies was created by one family and now has the support of over 1,700 participants, plus their friends and family. As we look towards the future, our goal is to continue to create a community event that makes an impact on local patients for many years to come.
As the kids progress in their fundraising endeavors, I hope that you check back frequently for updates and stories of patients in our communities.