As most of you know, I donate $1 for each mile I run to the University of Virginia Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I started doing this about 7 years ago as a way to help other families that are going through what my wife, Jen, and I went through when we lost Lucas shortly after he was born.
We set a goal of $50,000 and hit that number in May of 2018! Thank you to all who helped us get there. We can’t express our gratitude enough to each of you.
Once we hit the goal, it was like, “So what’s next?” Jen and I thought about what to focus on to help more families. In the big scheme of things, our $50,000 that we raised is kind of a little drop in a big bucket. We wanted to keep helping the UVA NICU, so we met with their fundraising director. Together, we came up with the idea to focus on a more specific need at the hospital.
Our new goal is to raise $30,000 over the next three years for the benefit of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit’s Bereavement Program. The Bereavement Program will use these funds to help emotionally console families with items such as hand and foot molds, memory boxes, offsetting funeral costs, and photography.
Personally, I think the moment that we packed everything we had of Lucas’ up (locks of hair, hospital bracelet, photos of us holding him after he passed) into a small heart shaped box to take home, and that he was not coming with us, was the hardest moment of my entire life. It became real. And that little box means more to me than anyone can understand.
We want families to have memories to take home, even if they are not taking home their child that they dreamed and prayed for. And with this program, the funds are going to be more specifically directed.
Once again, from both Jen and myself, thank you to everyone that has contributed over the years. Future donations will go to families who just need something to hold onto when they are hurting in their hearts.