My name is Chelsea and I am an aerospace engineer and proud mom from Cambridge, MA. I will be running the 2019 Boston Marathon on behalf of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I am thrilled for the opportunity to represent Team BIDMC and will be honored to have your support!
Why I’m Running
I once heard a fellow preemie parent describe the NICU experience as "the best worst thing, and the worst best thing." I've really come to appreciate just how true those words are.
I was terrified when my water broke just 30 weeks into my pregnancy, and literally hours after returning from a Thanksgiving trip to visit family in Arizona. But fortunately for us, we had made it back to Boston -- a city with the best medical facilities in the world, and equally important, a community that we've called home for the past 10 years, where we’ve built a strong support network to lean on when the going gets tough.
I was devastated when I found out that I would have to spend the remaining days of my pregnancy confined to the hospital. But fortunately for us, it was BIDMC -- a hospital with world-class OB/GYN and Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians, and equally important, a team of the most caring and capable nurses anywhere.
I was elated when Jacob was born, kicking and screaming, only 3 lb 3 oz but full of feist. But I was also saddened to learn that he would have a long road ahead, requiring weeks, if not months in the NICU. But fortunately for us, it was the Klarman Family NICU -- far more than a hospital unit, it became our second home.
Over the next 47 days, we paced our lives to the rhythm of the NICU -- the endless beeps and alarms, the whoosh-whoosh of breast pumps, the phone ringing at all hours of the day and night, and yes, even the occasional screaming baby. We learned to speak a new language with words like gavage, CPAP, bili light, and isolette. We became friends with other NICU families and heard stories similar to -- and far scarier than -- our own. We laughed, we cried, we worried constantly. But most of all, we celebrated each passing milestone -- No more respiratory support! First smile! Photo with Santa! First bath! Moving to an open crib! Successful surgery! Feeding on demand! -- until finally -- Going home!
Now, as we near Jacob's first birthday, there is much to celebrate -- a healthy and thriving baby, surviving the first year of parenthood, and being part of a wonderful community that helped carry us through the darkest days. I cannot think of a more fitting culmination to this story than to be part of the 2019 Boston Marathon, and to share the experience with the people we love, give back to the hospital that has given so much to our family, and honor the city where it all began. Because ultimately, it's a celebration of the journey home -- once measured in grams and milliliters, and now in footsteps and miles.
The Klarman Family Neonatal lntensive Care Unit (NICU)
Each year, approximately one in eight babies in the United States is born prematurely, which has a profound impact on newborns and their families. These vulnerable babies often present with complex medical needs, ranging from severe breathing trouble to underdeveloped organs, and require specialized care to give them a healthy start. The NICU provides state-of-the-art, family-centered care for about 1,000 high-risk newborns and their families each year.
Other Ways to Donate
If you would prefer to make an offline donation, you can send a check payable to "BIDMC" with "Chelsea Curran / Boston Marathon 2019" in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to:
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Office of Development
330 Brookline Avenue (OV)
Boston, MA 02215
BIDMC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and the tax ID number (TIN) is 04-2103881.