It’s been a busy summer for Speaking for Moms and Babies!
There’s still a few more weeks of summer left and I plan to enjoy them to the fullest with my family and I hope you are doing the same. We were lucky to take a few vacations and have one more planned. This will be a quick post to update my friends and followers on what advocacy work Speaking for Moms and Babies has been up to this summer 🙂
June began with the first ever Northeast conference dedicated to spread awareness on Necrotizing Enterocolitis and the devastating and often deadly effects it has on premature babies. Speaking of NEC: Unplugged was sponsored by The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund and it was such a huge success. Speaking for Moms and Babies was proud to help organize and support this event. We were able to bring together medical experts from several different states and over 100 people attended.
I was asked to write an article for Neonatology Today and discuss the event. Wow, was I honored! Please click HERE and turn to page 20 of Neonatology Today to read more about Speaking of NEC: Unplugged, written by me!
The Baby First program, started by Draeger produced a series of videos to help NICU parents understand how to use the various medical equipment in the NICU and also provide some emotional comfort to parents who are struggling with the reality and stress of having a medically fragile or premature baby. I was asked to be a part of a few of them, along with Deb Discenza of Preemie World, and we were honored to accept. You can find those videos by clicking HERE. Scroll to the bottom for mine. I believe there will be more of those videos released in the upcoming months.
Joy was asked to be an Ambassador for the “Go the Distance” Walk and Family Fun Day for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital on Sunday, September 16th. The press, along with members of the hospital staff, joined our family in an assembly for the whole school where they officially gave her the title of ambassador and put a sash on her while on stage. She couldn’t have been more excited and we are very honored to be a large part of this fundraiser and are looking forward to it. We have had a team (Team From Hope to Joy) walking there for five years and we always raise a lot of money to help the future NICU families, but this year we want to top it! Please consider registering to walk with us on the 16th or click HERE to donate under Joy’s name today. It’s a fun day! There have bounce houses, face painting, dance parties, activities, games, characters, bubble tents, food, drinks and more! Click HERE to help us help the future children and families that end up in the hospital and need our support.
You can read the article written about her “sashing” ceremony below and see how absolutely excited she was!
Oh, and we give you a cool team shirt 🙂
I attended “Meet the Authors” Night at Mahopac Public Library, where I read Stuck In Bed: The pregnancy bed rest picture book for kids … and moms to the crowd. Everyone loved it! See photo below.
June ended with me attending the AWHONN Convention in Tampa Florida. AWHONN stands for The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses. This was an amazing experience and I’m happy that I got to be there to make connections, learn from others and also promote the amazing products created by Dr. Yamile Jackson of Nurtured by Design. You can read more about the AWHONN Convention by clicking HERE and more about the developmental products for newborn babies and premature infants by Nurtured By Design by clicking HERE.
Stuck in Bed: The pregnancy bed rest picture book for kids and moms received an award from The Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, by Story Monsters. Angela, Jennifer and I could not be more proud and we now have the seals to put on our book to show it off! You can view some of the other phenomenal books that also won some of their awards by clicking HERE.
I was invited to be on an episode of One On One with Vincent Dacquino, to discuss my books and my advocacy work. This is so much fun and it was on Cable TV. You can click HERE to watch it. Oh, and please subscribe to my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/jenniferdegl because I have some great projects and videos that will be going live in the fall and winter!
In late July I completed my 8-hour training session at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital so that I could officially become a volunteer. I needed this in order to finalize and be part of the NICU parent mentor program that I’ve been organizing for over 3 years. Now that it’s done and I have my solid group of mentors, we can move forward and finish our required diversity training with hopes of implementing our program and starting to mentor NICU parents in by the winter. I cannot wait. This is a true labor of love and this has been something I have made my goal- maybe I’d even call it a legacy. NICU parents need support and I am determined to see that they get it. I hope to report some more progress in a few weeks.
It’s always nice to see your book in a random library- see?
I’m almost finished with my 3rd book and I hope to have it completed by November, but that remains to be seen. Life has been getting pretty busy. More to come on this soon!
Take a moment and watch and listen to me read Stuck in Bed: The pregnancy bed rest picture book for kids … and moms, by clicking HERE. Please share and subscribe to my YouTube Channel to see what’s coming up.
Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that I met and spent the afternoon having tea with Ms. United States 2008, Grazialla Baratta. She is a lovely person, both inside and out, and she also had a baby in the NICU and it changed her life. We hit it off and are working with Better Postpartum on a special project and I am excited to see what else we collaborate on in the future. Check out her website HERE and stay tuned!
It’s been a busy summer, between spending time with the kids, construction going on at our house, and working on all sorts of advocacy projects. I think the fall is going to super busy as I return to work and we prepare for all of the awareness activities that lead up to World Prematurity Day on November 17th.
I’ll be speaking during two sessions at the Preemie Parent Alliance Summit in late September and I’m being honored at a fundraising gala, sponsored by Surviving NICU, Inc, in early November. These are both very exciting! You can learn more about the PPA Summit by clicking HERE.
We plan to host our annual Morgan’s FunDay in mid-November, but we have not solidified the details yet, so keep checking back. Last year we gave the Lily Pedro Award for Excellence to Dr. Borianna Parvez of Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital so we’ve been brainstorming to see who will receive the 2018 award.
So~ check back here a lot in the fall because we are super busy with advocacy activities from September through November.
September is NICU Awareness Month and November is National Prematurity Awareness Month, with November 17th being World Prematurity Day, and we have a lot to share to help educate the public on these issues.
The most exciting event of the fall (for me) is that my sweet Joy is entering Kindergarten. She’s been through so much and we couldn’t be more proud that she is finally ready for K! Of course I’ll be sharing pictures of her on her big day (probably with me crying in the background!).
And please consider walking with us or donating in honor of Joy at the “Go the Distance” Walk and Family Fun Day on Sunday September 16th. She is SUPER excited to be an Ambassador to the walk and lead the way. You can register or donate by clicking HERE.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll be checking back again soon 🙂
Jennifer ~ Speaking for Moms and Babies, Inc.