Now, 16 years after the birth of her first premature baby, Cruz is central to a partnership between parents and medical researchers. Their goal is to see parents become active colleagues in clinical trials, and for everyone to see trials as part of routine care.
Melinda Cruz is CEO, Founder and a Board Director of Miracle Babies Foundation; Australia’s leading organisation supporting premature and sick newborns, their families and the hospitals caring for them. The Foundation provides the link between health professionals and families, working in partnership for better, healthier outcomes and is the peak consumer body for neonatal research.
When Melinda Cruz was pregnant with her second son, 10 years ago, she was already nervous about the possibility of his being born prematurely. She had already been through his earlier brother’s premature birth – a six week early arrival, to be exact – and she knew there was a distinct possibility it could happen again.
The Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year recognises women who have excelled in their career, field or passion and/or have made a significant achievement in a traditionally male-dominated area.This year was an exceptionally competitive field and the judges found it very difficult to choose only four finalists.You can read about their amazing work below but you can not vote for your favourite. The judging panel has made a decision for this category and the winner will be announced 4 March 2015
Melinda Cruz of Miracle Babies Foundation is an inspirational entrepreneur who works each day for a great purpose. Since 2005, Miracle Babies Foundation has developed and provided vital programs and resources to support families dealing with a premature or sick newborn, and to help their hospital journey and their transition to home.
When doctors told 18-year-old Melinda Cruz that she'd better hurry up and have babies, she was shocked she had been given such a clear ultimatum. But because she had been diagnosed with endometriosis and a bicornuate uterus (where the uterus is shaped like a love heart with two separate halves) Melinda had less time than most women to become a mum.