Superheroes wanted for annual Miracle Babies 5K and Kids Festival on May 7

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Nearly 15 percent of babies born in the U.S., for some reason, find themselves in a neonatal intensive care unit. The costs and stress that comes with this can be overwhelming and that is where Miracle Babies comes in. It can get parents with NICU babies the help that they need. On May 7, Miracle Babies is calling for superheroes to join it for its 9th annual Miracle Babies 5K and Kids Festival. Proceeds from this go to parents that are going through the traumatic experience of having a newborn in NICU. This annual event will be held at NTC Park at Liberty station from 8:00 a.m.

Nearly 15 percent of babies born in the U.S., for some reason, find themselves in a neonatal intensive care unit. The costs and stress that comes with this can be overwhelming and that is where Miracle Babies comes in. It can get parents with NICU babies the help that they need. On May 7, Miracle Babies is calling for superheroes to join it for its 9th annual Miracle Babies 5K and Kids Festival. Proceeds from this go to parents that are going through the traumatic experience of having a newborn in NICU. This annual event will be held at NTC Park at Liberty station from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Children and adults alike are encouraged to come as their favorite superhero, anything from a policeman to Superman. It is a fun day and it is for a crucial cause.

Volunteering with Miracle Babies for seven years, Jamie Kurtz of El Cajon knows exactly how traumatic having a newborn in NICU. Now 7-years-old, her son Dominic was born with gastroschisis, a condition where his intestines were growing outside of his body during pregnancy. It was certain that when he was born he would be in an acute state. Kurtz was self employed, had insurance but had no idea of what costs she would bear with such intensive prolonged care.

He was in NICU for 45 days.

“My health insurance was with Kaiser, and what happened is that Kaiser wrote off our entire stay,” she said. “I was a single mom and really scared on how I was going to afford this financially. I wasn’t sure how much insurance would really cover. Receiving that gift from Kaiser was huge.”

Kurtz said she is a person that likes to give back and on the first day bringing Dominic home, they were laying on the couch watching the local news. It was Dr. Sean Daneshmand, Miracle Babies founder. He began this foundation the same year and month that Dominic was born.

“So to me, that was my calling,” said Kurtz. “Kaiser gave me this gift and Dr. Daneshmand was starting a foundation to continue gifting other families. And that is the most important part of all of this. Moms and dads that are born with these NICU babies, the babies need their parents. They need their mom, they need that one-on-one care and a lot of families struggle for different reasons financially during that time.”

Kurtz said that a lot of financial assistance goes for transportation. The major hospitals are centralized in the county, but some families travel as far as from Temecula or Imperial Beach, a 45 mile or more round trip. Miracle Babies provides gas cards, MTS and whatever means it has to ensure that parents can be with their babies during this time.

“It is so important to have the moms and dads with these babies. It’s been proven over and over again that babies thrive and get better quicker with that loving care,” she said.

Miracle Babies also has peer support pairing current families to new NICU families.

“It is important to a family because it is such a stressful time,” said Kurtz. “It’s not a natural thing for you to give birth and then you go home without your baby. It’s a tragic feeling.”

About once a month Miracle Babies hands out goodie bags in NICU units. They are filled with small things, mostly for the parents that spend hours every day watching and holding their newborns.

“They are filled with little things like crossword puzzles, hand sanitizer, a goodies bag,” said Kurtz. “There is something cute for the baby but the parents are there for long periods of time and they do get bored. Just small things that can maybe help them ease the pain and to remind them that they have support.”

Kurtz said she encourages all parents to reach out to Miracle Babies, when you know ahead of time or you find out at birth, or have a preemie.

“Reach out when your wits start coming about,” she said. “If you can’t reach out to Miracle Babies directly, reach out to your social worker as a patient. We have worked hard to get social workers to get to know about Miracle Babies and what it can provide. And we are here for all of the families no matter the diagnosis, no matter how they wound up in NICU.”

Kurtz said that the 5K run is a fun filled day for the entire family. With everyone in costume, the large kid’s area, there is plenty for the kids to do with bounce houses, face painting and different activities for the kids.

About the event:

9th Annual Miracle Babies 5K and Kids Festival to Support Critically ill Newborns in San Diego County NICUs

Proceeds benefit families in need of financial assistance during a newborn’s hospitalization

The 9th annual Miracle Babies 5K will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 7, 2017, at NTC Park at Liberty Station (2455 Cushing Road), with registration beginning at 7:00 a.m. The event includes a timed 5K run at 8:00 a.m. followed by a family friendly 5K walk at 9:00 a.m. Attendees are invited to show their spirit by dressing up as their favorite hero! No matter if it’s Superman, Wonder Woman, Police Officer, Firefighter, Soldier or even a Doctor, all heroes are welcome!

Participants will receive a collectable race medal and are encourage and invited to attend in the post race celebration including a Kid Zone, Family Resource Fair, merchandise vendors, food trucks and exotic cars.

Registration fee for walkers is $25 for adults and free for children under 12. Runners’ fee is $30 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Register now at www.miraclebabies5k.com.

Participants are encouraged to fundraise to help raise funds and awareness for NICU families, with incentive levels ranging from $150 – $1,000+.

To participate:

Register at www.miraclebabies5k.org

Create a fundraising team and a personalized fundraising page

Share the page and a fundraising goal with friends, family, and social networks

For vendor, in-kind or sponsorship opportunities please contact jfelton@miraclebabies.org or call 858-633-8540.

Every year more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely. As overwhelmed families struggle with the terrifying uncertainties, they often find themselves faced with unexpected financial difficulties. Miracle Babies mission is to unite families with their sick newborns through financial assistance and supportive services and to reduce pregnancy complications through prevention, education and research.

Proceeds will go towards our financial assistance program in San Diego. Last year Miracle Babies provided financial assistance to over 500 families. Additionally, 3000 families in San Diego County received MB Care Bags and other supportive services provide by Miracle Babies.

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