Friday, April 16, 2010

IWK 5K - In Memory of Jessica

New York, New York, not in my cards this year, however it will in the next 2 years, so I will just keep applying...

Instead I found a new focus this year. I am organizing a fun run/walk for the IWK on June 6th in DeWolfe Park, in Bedford, NS.

I remember the first time holding Jessica outside of incubator for kangaroo care thinking, WOW... these nurses really are amazing. Here they are looking after 2-3 babies each, depending on how sick they were, and they find this huge comfy chair for me to sit on, and find another nurse who is also looking after their own patients to help organize the lines and ventilator tubing to take my baby out for me to hold. There is careful placing of each line, and warmed blankets, and tape, lots of tape to hold the ventilator tubing on the chair from falling off, and a mirror so that I can look at Jessica's face. Then they prop my feet up on the foot rest, and put pillows around me to make sure I am comfortable, because I am scared to death to move in fear of pulling out a line or the tube. And not once did they show any fear, or concern as the alarms went off and the monitors were showing heart rate increasing, and sats decreasing...they told us that kangaroo care was so important for the babies, especially with the mom, and although the transition from incubator to the Mom can be stressful for the baby, being settled on Mom's chest usually settles everything. And they were right. Heart rate usually settled right out, and oxygen sats increased, so much to the point that the oxygen settings could be lowered. It was an amazing feeling, with both girls to see the response that I had on them. I loved the nurses for making me feel this way, and helping me relax with kangaroo care, when it was something so new to me, even though they did this with parents everyday.

And it didn't end there from the kindness and compassion we received from the nurses. They looked after our children, and they looked after us when we really needed it after Jessica passed away. The nurses, the social worker, the neonatologists, the pharmacists, the respiratory therapists, the chaplains, they were all wonderful. It takes someone truly remarkable to be a part of the IWK team. It was around this time that I thought about organizing an event to help raise money for the IWK, rather then our yearly or bi-yearly cheque.

Running and two safe outlets after Jessica passed away. So it only made perfect sense to me to start up a run with all proceeds after costs of the race to be donated to the IWK. For me, I am organizing the run in memory of my daughter, Jessica, and for the excellent care we received for Alyssa and also Emily when she was born.

This run can mean something to everyone. It can mean something to the mom who had a normal healthy pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby at the IWK and feels grateful to the staff who delivered and cared for her. It can mean something to the Mom and Dad, who delivered premature twins, who spent a lengthy stay in the NICU with many complications, but because of the wonderful care they received...were able to take their twins home. And continue to be involved with the IWK staff with perinatal follow-up/and or surgeries. It can mean something to the the parents of a child who was born with their bowels on their exterior and who are grateful for the staff and many surgeries that saved their babies life. It can mean something to the families who's child was in grade primary and diagnosed with leukemia, and now has to undergo extensive chemotherapy and radiation at such a young age, but because of the IWK staff this child feels at home. It can mean something for the children who at one time thought they would never walk, and today they are running. And it can mean something to all of the healthy kids who know that if they were to ever become sick they would be ok, because they live in a province with "world class pediatric care." We all have some connection to this hospital either directly or through family and friends. What is your connection?

Please come run with us, and feel good about yourself for exercising, and feel great that you are helping to make a child's experience at the IWK more comfortable and less invasive by helping to provide the best medical care, and helping to purchase necessary equipment that the government doesn't fund.

The cost of the 5K run is $25 dollars, free for the kids run with the registration of one adult. If you like to take part without running or walking, we would love your help as a volunteer, or sponsor. This is the first year for the race so we are trying to keep it very low key with few costs so that more money will go to the IWK. Tell your family, your friends, your coworkers, we hope to see many of you at DeWolfe Park June 6th for a great run or walk!

To register click on the title of this blog post or go to and look under NS races in June 2010.