Happy New Year!
I wish you all a year full of health and happiness.
November through December were super busy and I decided to take a break from writing to recuperate from the craziness and spend some quality time with my family.
November was National Prematurity Awareness Month and November 17th was World Prematurity Day. During November I am focused on spreading awareness on premature births and all things related to it. It was a busy month!
Then December was just as crazy, but because of wonderful family celebrations. Both my parents and my son have December birthdays; there were three school plays, and Christmas of course! We also took a family trip to the North Pole, NY and it was magical. It even snowed there!
Today’s post is intended to share some of the activities, appearances, and interviews I did during National Prematurity Awareness Month so that you can share them with any preemie parents or NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) staff in hopes that they can help others.
Most of the news segments and the radio interviews I did focused on how to prevent your baby from contracting RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) during the winter months, as this virus is very dangerous for all newborns, but particularly premature babies.
November 17th was a full day of interviews. I arrived in Atlanta Georgia the night before and was up at 4:30 am to begin the day. I even had to have my makeup done for the media tour! The last time I had my makeup done was my wedding day!
I did 25 interviews on November 17th! They included a combination of radio and television interviews.
All of these interviews were shared either live on the news, inserted into news segments about RSV and World Prematurity Day or live on the radio. It was such a long day, but so worth it. I have gotten a lot of feedback and messages from people who saw or listened to the interviews and they seemed to have helped many parents.
Dr. Paul Checchia of Texas Children’s Hospital was sitting next to me and was able to share his medical knowledge with the hosts.
Although there were some awkward moments, most of our interviews went very well and I hope I’m asked to participate again next year.
Below are the links to three of the television news interviews I did. Most of the TV interviews were similar.
To listen to some of the radio interviews I did that day, please see the link to my website HERE and scroll down to the RADIO section. Some of these were more lively and entertaining than others!
I also want to mention that The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund (which I am on the Board of Directors) hosted a fundraiser in honor of World Prematurity Day and it raised over $1000, which will be donated to research the prevention of and treatments for NEC (Necrotizing enterocolitis) in premature babies. That was a great afternoon!
The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund received a grant from the Petit Family Foundation to record a series of podcasts dedicated to spread awareness of NEC research and treatments. To date, TEN episodes have been recorded and you can listen to them all HERE.
And last: A few days before Christmas my principal allowed me to take 5 student representatives and two teachers to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital to drop off some donations.
The students at Mahopac High School donated over 120 toys for hospitalized children and over $200 to the NICU scrapbooking program! We piled onto a mini bus and headed off to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. Upon arriving, we were greeted by hospital staff dressed as Santa’s Helpers and were then allowed to tour the NICU with Chief Neonatologist Dr. Edmund LaGamma. The tour allowed the students to see how the NICU works (without visiting bedside, of course!) and even speak to some nurses and parents about what it’s like to have a baby in the NICU. I really believe the students were touched and they all commented that they want to become involved with the hospital.
So, let me wish you all a happy and healthy 2016! My one request is that you think of an organization you can donate your time or money to, or just a good deed or kind gesture that you can do to help bring someone JOY!