In April 1997, I was discharged from the BIDMC after a 10 week-stay in their NICU. Exactly 23 years later, I will be running the Boston Marathon.
I was born prematurely weighing just two pounds, and my first 10 weeks of life were spent in the BIDMC neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) hooked up to a maze of wires, tubes, and beeping machines. Doctors warned I would not make it, but with extraordinary medical care from the BIDMC, I have been able to grow up to be active and well. Nevertheless, the complications I faced in my first months of life sparked a myriad of health challenges that invaded my childhood and young adult years.
I found running as a grounding force that reminded my body of its strength and resilience. In addition to achieving the physical challenge of completing a marathon, my aim in running the Boston Marathon is to signal to families currently in the NICU that there is hope. I feel honored to have the chance to give back to the place that enabled me to run, and that enabled me to be where I am today.
I'm running to encourage parents that their babies, too, can grow up to overcome challenge and pursue their goals.
My run will support the Klarman Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 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.
Thank you for your support!