Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

NICU Heroes Award Winner Designates Children’s Cancer Research Fund as her Charity of Choice

2014 NICU Heroes Award Winner Stephanie Horecky Hall is a Board Certified Neonatal Nurse Practitioner in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Medical University South Carolina.

MUSC nurse practitioner, Stephanie Horecky Hall, RN, checks on one of her patients in the NICU, Kashmir Jones, who was born two months ago at 26 weeks. -- Photo by Sarah Pack, MUSC Public Relations

MUSC nurse practitioner, Stephanie Horecky Hall, RN, checks on one of her patients in the NICU, Kashmir Jones, who was born two months ago at 26 weeks. — Photo by Sarah Pack, MUSC Public Relations

Stephanie chose to donate her $2,500 NICU Heroes Award to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. Mead Johnson Nutrition will make the donation in Stephanie’s name, in honor of Owen Plasman and in memory of Kennedy Branham.

We sat down with Stephanie Horecky Hall and asked her why she chose the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. She shared this with us:

Photo by Sarah Pack, MUSC Public Relations

Photo by Sarah Pack, MUSC Public Relations

I chose the Children’s Cancer Research Fund in honor of Owen Plasman and in memory of Kennedy Branham.  Owen was diagnosed with osteosarcoma last year and underwent a limb sparing implant surgery at MUSC and he is now in remission. Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor (Glistoblastastoma) in 2012 and lost her battle in December of 2013.

I am friends with Owen’s mom and Kennedy’s mom and I followed both of them through their journeys on Facebook.  I rejoiced with Owen’s remission and cried when Kennedy lost her battle.  I also saw these children go through the heartbreak of losing friends that were also battling childhood cancer.  I hope that this donation can help other children become a success story like Owen and prevent the loss of another life to cancer.

Saving babies’ lives, supporting families through their NICU journey and sharing with them the incredible experience of becoming a parent are just a few reasons why I love my job. I am proud that I work hard to keep in touch with families after they leave the NICU.

Having a critically ill baby at birth is a difficult experience but having a health care provider who understands not only the healthcare needs of the baby, but also the family’s needs is what makes Stephanie a NICU Hero.

Kelli Kelley About Kelli Kelley

Founder, Hand to Hold - Kelli D. Kelley (TX) is the mother of two preemies – Jackson born at 24 weeks in 2000 and Lauren born at 34 weeks in 2003. She is the founder of Hand to Hold, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated providing support and navigation resources to families who had a preemie, who had a child in the NICU or with a special healthcare need, or who experienced loss. She has experienced the emotional fallout and isolation that having preemies often causes. As a direct result, Kelli has dedicated her life to offering hope and sanctuary to all parents who have had similar journeys. Contact her via email.

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