Graham’s Foundation sets up social on World Prematurity DayWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Kornmeier’s triplets were born 13 weeks early. She was on bed rest a month before giving birth and all three weren’t home until one month later.
Kornmeier’s doctors made her aware of the high risks during her pregnancy that could end with many possible complications. Kornmeier said she was nervous.
While in the hospital, Kornmeier found a care package from Graham’s Foundation.
“We had never heard of Graham’s before that,” Kornmeier said.
The package provided information about prematurity, but it was a card with a poem by co-founder Nick Hall printed on it that touched Kornmeier the most.
“I carried the card with me. I still have the card,” Kornmeier said.
Kornmeier holds the experience close and became involved with Graham’s Foundation after getting settled at home with her babies, Drew, Ella and Addison, now three years old.
Three years ago, Kornmeier attended the Parents of Preemies Day event, sponsored by the Graham’s Foundation. Since then, her and her husband has been involved in the organization.
“You’re in a mix of a whole new world with prematurity,” Kornmeier said. “[Something] your whole life, you never expected or wanted to be in. There [are] a lot of aspects about that that you have to suddenly learn how to live with.”
Kornmeier said she wanted to be there for other parents after her own experience.
“The events have been so great because you’re not just on the phone with someone, you’re actually face-to-face with someone and getting to share your stories,” Kornmeier said.
Graham’s Foundation was founded in 2009 by Nick and Jennifer Hall, parents of Graham, a premature child who died after 45 days. The organization assembles and sends care packages to parents of premature babies. It also offers parent-to-parent support through a resource phone line. All of these features are volunteer-run.
“Prematurity is something that is not widely talked about,” Executive Director Erin McPartland said. “So what happens is, parents go into this preemie journey, and they just don’t know what to expect.”
November is Prematurity Awareness Month and Graham’s Foundation will sponsor events all month long. One event includes the Preemie Parent Social on Nov. 17, also sponsored by Help Me Grow, Toledo Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
During the social, parents of premature babies will be able to share their stories with new parents. One in eight babies is born premature, McPartland said.
“While there have been advances in health care in treatment of the babies, they’re only now starting to understand the psychological toll it takes on parents,” McPartland said.
The social is 1-3 p.m. on Nov. 17 at The Elizabeth Scott Campus in the Friendship Center, 2720 Albon Road. The event will happen on World Prematurity Day.
“We chose World Prematurity Day to highlight the fact that even as people become more aware of prematurity rates in general, the challenges moms and dads of preemies must face are seldom recognized,” Hall said in a news release. “We’re proud to be developing a core group of partners right here in Northwest Ohio to support parents facing the challenges of prematurity locally.”
For more information, visit grahamsfoundation.org for more information and to pre-register.
Tags: Executive Director Erin McPartland, Graham's Foundation, Help Me Grow, Preemie Parent Social, Prematurity Awareness Month, Sarah Kornmeier’s triplets, Toledo Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House Charities