As Christmas and the start of a new year approaches, feelings of reflection and gratitude tend to surface. This has been especially true for my team. And for myself and my cofounders, Naomi Rohr and Kylie Pussell, 2015 and its close has been a very surreal experience. Not only did the driving forces behind the passion for starting Miracle Babies – our own miracles Dillon, Eli and Scarlet respectively, turn 10 – but so did the Foundation.
And as we looked back at 10 years ago, being new mothers of babies born on the cusp of life, having no experience in the not for profit sector and no plan to take this beyond the hospital where our babies were saved, we were reminded of the time when such support and programs did not exist for families like ours and the hospitals we know that work so hard for us.
We could never have imagined back then that Miracle Babies would be what it is today. From one hospital, to every tertiary hospital in Australia. From supporting a few families to changing the experience for thousands. From speaking at local meetings to being on the international stage. From raising $35,000 at our first event to more than $6 million since going national in 2009.
Miracle Babies started small and local in 2005 because it is all we could see. What it looks like today is because the community, the health system, and the families needed for it to be more. It was vital that Neonatal Intensive Care had more opportunities to go beyond medical excellence and have new ways to support the emotional wellbeing of the families it was sending these little miracles home with. It has been such a privilege to be at the forefront of bridging this gap, all achieved in partnership with the amazing health staff and families we serve.
And we have had nothing but angels help us do this. Chances are, you are one of them. They say it takes a village to raise a child and that could not be more true than if that child has come into the world premature or sick. If you have ever helped in any way; volunteered, knitted or sewn, offered advice, made a donation, attended an event, ran an event, liked or shared a post, supported us through your workplace, council or local government, and in so many other ways, you have been part of our story so far. You are very important to us and we thank you immensely!
It has been a very humbling and rewarding 10 years. One filled with passion, learning, tears, pride, accomplishment and at times, self-doubt but the vision has always remained clear – that no family going through this journey would go through it alone.
To the families we have supported; every day we carry your journey and your stories in our hearts, you are the reason behind every decision we make and our hope is that in some way we have made an impact and a difference to the new world and new journey you never would have chosen but are travelling.
On behalf of the entire Miracle Babies team, I wish you and your family a very happy and safe Christmas and New Years and look forward to another year and another decade of Miracle Babies being there for miracle families, like mine, right across Australia.