Hand to Hold

March/April Supporter Update
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112 Miles for 112 Days in the NICU

Lord help me, I hate to run!

Seriously, I really want to be a runner! I want one of those cool 26.2 car window decals. I want to experience that runner’s high people keep telling me about. I set a goal to run 112 miles in one month in honor of my children and the number of days they spent in the NICU. Every day for the past three weeks, I have gotten up early and laced up my super cute new jogging shoes. I have uploaded great music lists that were promised to provide the groovy beat needed to motivate my feet and my brain to run no less than three miles a day. And while I may LOOK like a runner, I feel more like a wounded bear lumbering around the track.

My daughter has been a constant source of support, cheering me on and coaching me on stretching, breathing and posture techniques. She keeps telling me over and over, “You are almost there,” or “You got this mom,” and “I am so proud of you.” And it helps so much. On the days I run without her, I feel like my shoes are full of lead. I limp through the exercise feeling exhausted and beaten down without the energy or willpower to push through to the end. I really need her there to remind me that I am stronger than I think I am.

It is the same for a NICU stay. New NICU parents need peer mentors who can encourage them and support them throughout their journey because a NICU stay truly is a marathon, not a sprint. Even the most dedicated and equipped parents falter along the way when the long days in the NICU start to take their toll. Read more about Kelli's dedication to running for NICU families.


Team Hand to Hold at the Austin Marathon!

This past Sunday, Team Hand to Hold's 51 runners took the Austin Marathon, Half Marathon, and Paramount 5K by storm. This dedicated team raised over $11,000 to ensure that thousands of families have access to powerful support and resources to mitigate the effects of a NICU stay or loss of a baby. Thanks to a grant from The Moody Foundation, donations to Team Hand to Hold are being matched up to $10,000, making our grand total over $21,000 - and still rising! Special thanks to Dr. Armie Harper and the team at Austin Retina Associates for running for Team Hand to Hold on behalf of NICU families, and special thanks also to all of the volunteers who came out to help us hydrate and cheer on runners at our Mile 14 water stop.

There's still time to help! Donations to Team Hand to Hold are open through February 28. Visit us at crowdrise.com/TeamHandtoHold to donate today.  


Supporter Spotlight

Hand to Hold is fortunate to have so many wonderful benefactors to help spread our mission of providing support to NICU families. Today we're highlighting Donna, Karen and Melissa, three special people who have generously supported us in the last few months through their incredible acts of service.  Read more about our amazing supporters.


In the News

Hand to Hold is thrilled to be the recipient of a $150,000 grant from the St. David's Foundation. This grant is part of $2 million awarded to 10 health organizations to help combat the rising rate of maternal mortality. Hand to Hold plans to use this grant to more effectively serve women of color in the NICU who are in need of support.  Read more about the grants here.

Social worker Michelle Molony of Eugene, OR, has implemented Hand to Hold's NICU Milestone Bead program in the NICU at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend. It's such an honor to see how much the NICU Milestone Beads mean to families across the country. Read the full story and watch the video here.


From the Blog

Social Media & the NICU, by Leigh Ann Torres. It's 2018 and social media is almost unavoidable. But should you friend your NICU nurse on Facebook? Leigh Ann discusses four things to keep in mind when it comes to connecting with NICU staff on social media. 

We Need to Change Our Thinking About the Mom's Role in Premature Birth Prevention, by Karee Marsh. Are we putting unnecessary pressure on moms to prevent premature birth?  

Tiny Addicts: How America's Opioid Crisis Affects Babies, by Melissa Vandermeer. Every 25 minutes the world's tiniest and most vulnerable souls, just hours old, are victims of a growing opioid epidemic.



About Hand to Hold

Hand to Hold helps families before, during, and after NICU stays and infant loss by providing powerful resources for the whole family, and most importantly, one-on-one mentoring from someone who has been there. Read more.



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