I am honored to fundraise for BIDMC NICU by running the 2020 Boston Marathon.
The NICU marathon team combines the two main passions of both my professional and personal life. Professionally, I dedicate myself to taking care of babies in the NICU, while in my spare time I train and try to summon the courage to run marathons.
But I don’t think of myself as a runner. I started running ten years ago after a spinal cord injury and the need for surgery brought me to BIDMC as a patient. My mobility was saved by their dedicated neurosurgical team. At that time, I thought of running as a way to celebrate renewed health and second chances.
When I decided to run my first marathon, though, I needed to look for inspiration. It is such a formidable challenge for a recreational runner. Thankfully, I did not have to search far for examples of courage. Every day in the neonatal intensive care unit, babies and their families fight the fight of their lives. Statistics show 1 in 10 babies in the United States is born prematurely. Preterm birth and other illnesses will bring a baby into the NICU, where a skilled team of physicians, nurses, therapists and social workers strive tirelessly for a cure.
In my fifteen years as a neonatologist I have witnessed instances of incredible bravery, strength and persistence. I watched families support their infants over weeks and months on their journey to good health. I shared good times and bad times. I celebrated going-home days and cried over setbacks.
Life has taken me from being a BIDMC patient ten years ago to becoming a physician today in the BIDMC NICU, providing care for babies in Boston and at Beverly Hospital. The collaboration between BIDMC, Beverly Hospital and other hospitals in the Neonatal Network ensures consistent, high-quality care for mothers and babies.
Life is also taking me to this – my second participation in the Boston Marathon. I am proud to run for the BIDMC NICU team. I hope to increase awareness of prematurity and bring support to a collaborative, network approach to neonatal care. The funds raised will help further improve care for babies in need and their families at the most critical time.
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Thank you for your support.
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.