Two years ago, on June 12, 2012, I started something near and dear to my heart. The idea just came, so simple and easy- and I ran with it. I started my charity, Pennies For Preemies.
As you may know, I was born at 25 weeks gestation in 1992. I was 1 lb. and 12 oz. and my sister was 1 lb and 8 oz. Our survival, then, was expected to be miraculous, to say the least.
We were hospitalized for four and half months total (137 days). Two and a half months in a level 3 neonatal intensive care unit, and two months in a level 2 neonatal intensive care unit closer to home.
Pennies For Preemies strives to give back to the place that gave us life- the level 3 NICU. Without the time there I wouldn’t be here today.
Pennies For Preemies works to prevent the very thing my mother was terrified of: Losing me and my sister.
We work to help mothers and fathers like you, who know all too well that while there are (thankfully), many success stories of precious preemies who happily leave the NICU, there are also the losses.
Too many losses.
In my studying of grief, and specifically, how to walk with families going through the grief of child loss, I’ve come to realize that advocacy has been placed on my heart.
To advocate for those like me–precarious starts in this world, but deserving of all efforts to ensure the best for each and every preemie.
To advocate for you–mothers and fathers who know that the terms micropreemie and premature and NICU are far more serious than we sometimes see casually tossed around in the conversations of those who just don’t know.
They just don’t know.
Pennies for Preemies has two main focuses: raising awareness of premature birth and raising funds for the neonatal intensive care unit. In exerting efforts toward these goals, we hope to make more premature birth stories the ones with they happy endings.
And we grieve with you who know what life is like when the ending is not so happy. We are here for you as well.