My name is Shannon Chung and I am the mother of Danica and Teagan. They are still too young to write all by themselves about how they celebrated their birthdays this year so I will give them a hand.
On Sunday June 29th 2014 Nelson (my husband) and I helped our girls raise money for BC Women’s Newborn ICU "Hope Starts Here" campaign. We are very proud and excited to say that with the help of our family and friends, we were able to raise close to $14,000.00!! Our goal was $10,000.00 and all I can say is it is amazing what happens when people come together for a great cause. Anything is possible.
What motivated us to do this? My husband and I both feel that our girls are so fortunate. They have puzzles, games, art sets, musical instruments and most importantly great health due to BC Women's amazing level of care. It became very obvious to us that we want our girls to live a life of gratitude and one of the ways to do this is to lead by example. We are so lucky to live in the heart of Vancouver and so close to BC Women's. Without BC Women’s it is possible that myself or my first born Danica may not be here today. What seemed like a routine normal natural birth turned into an emergency c-section. I do not need to go into details, but what I must say is that I somehow knew that all would be okay even in the seriousness of the situation. The BC Women’s medical staff were professional yet compassionate. Their competence surpassed my already high preconceived expectations, the equipment was state of the art and ultimately I felt that I was in the best hands.
How did we come up with the idea to help? A few months ago I saw that BC Women’s is in need of $17,000,000 million dollars to keep up their level of care. So we talked to Danica and she seemed to love the idea that instead of gifts from everyone, our friends and family can make a donation to all the tiny patients at BC Women’s Hospital Foundation Newborn ICU so that other families can have healthy babies too.
Lastly, it was an amazing experience. We all had fun and it feels amazing to help. I truly want to thank BC Women’s for my amazing experience and I want to thank all the nurses that helped me along the way in the middle of the night when I could barely move and didn't know what to do.
The Chung Family
Each year in Canada, over 1600 preterm babies contract Necrotizing Enterocolitis, or NEC, a serious neonatal gastrointestinal disease where portions of the bowel undergo necrosis, or tissue death. This devastating disease has a 10-50% mortality rate, depending on severity. Of those babies who survive, 25% develop long-term sequelae.
Human milk, whether from mother or donation, has been shown to reduce the risk of NEC by 79%. However, because necrotizing enterocolitis primarily affects babies born prematurely, some mothers’ milk has not come in yet, or is limited in supply. Therefore, an important strategy to reduce the risk of NEC, and save babies’ lives, is to promote donations to your community breast milk bank.
The BC Provincial Milk Bank at Women’s Hospital is the community milk bank for ALL British Columbians. Unfortunately, many don’t know it exists and as a result, the milk bank is constantly short of funds, as it operates entirely on donations.