A few months ago, a dear friend and our NICU mentor, Kelli Kelley, invited Scott to serve on the Board of Directors of her new non-profit, Hand to Hold. It’s an organization I’ve mentioned before. One that we have a deep love and passion for as a result of our NICU stay with Luke. For those of you that have been in our shoes, you know that the NICU is the worst place on earth to be, yet you are surrounded by the most amazing medical professionals. Throughout the course of our stay in two NICUs (Seton Main and Dell Children’s) we came to realize that having someone who’s “been there” saves your sanity. You might still cry in the dark corner, but you have somebody to bring you a Kleenex and hold your hand.
The NICU saves babies. But it can mess with even the best marriages and cause havoc at home. People really do need a hand to hold. Below is a letter we sent out last week. I think it speaks for itself.
Dear Friends and Family,
The one-year celebration is almost here. Can it really be true? Superman Luke is almost ONE!
When we think back to our life this time last year, sometimes it seems like a blink of an eye and sometimes it seems like we’ve aged ten years. Luke’s 44-day NICU stay and five subsequent surgeries were some of the hardest moments of our lives as parents. We were blessed, truly, by an amazing network of people. You cooked us delicious meals, ran carpools to sports practices, carved pumpkins with our children, brought us communion at the hospital, faithfully read our blog, prayed for us and lifted our spirits.
Today, there is a family who has none of that. All they have is a tiny baby and they are in need of support, both in the NICU and upon discharge.
The reality is that many babies continue to need therapy and follow-up doctor visits for an extended period of time. Quite honestly, Scott and I were completely blindsided by how much was demanded of us, emotionally, physically, psychologically and financially. This prolonged stress greatly affects the family unit and in some cases leads to depression and divorce. We were fortunate enough to come into contact with a new non-profit organization, Hand to Hold, geared toward helping NICU parents navigate the waters of “life after the NICU.” In fact, we may have been the first family to receive “official” support through our mentor, friend and founder, Kelli Kelley.
We were honored when Scott was recently asked to join Hand to Hold’s Board of Directors. We believe whole-heartedly in H2H’s mission and vision.
In honor of Luke’s first birthday, Scott and I ask you to join us in making a tax-deductible donation in his name by clicking HERE.
It’s an opportunity to honor the miracle we named Luke Timothy and to help another family that is experiencing the same challenges, fears and joys. Please know we are grateful for your friendship and appreciate any gift you can make.
Fragile Babies. Strong Support. Welcome to Hand to Hold.