Our charity partner, Running for Premature Babies is a charity that gives sick and premature babies a better chance of survival. They fundraise and provide urgently needed neonatal equipment to hospitals in need Australia wide. The charity was founded by Sophie Smith OAM, after losing all three of her prematurely born triplets in 2006, and has grown to directly benefit thousands of sick and premature babies. The charity’s vehicle for fundraising is running. They inspire people to take on running challenges, either in mass participation running events around Australia like City2Surf or by joining their very popular virtual Premmie Marathon Challenge each November.
A recent example of their impact is from their donation of equipment to Alice Springs Hospital. The Alice Springs Hospital cares for sick and premature babies from an area of over one million square kms, with mothers coming from as far away as over the West Australian and South Australian borders. The rates of premature birth in first nations mothers is almost double that of non-first nations mothers, and approximately 70% of the babies cared for in the Alice Springs Neonatal Unit are first nations babies.
Last month, the very first baby to benefit from the donated equipment at the Alice Springs Hospital was a little girl from the remote community of Nyrripi, in the Central Desert Region in the NT, 450km north west of Alice Springs. This little girl was born preterm at 34 weeks, weighing 1.4kg in June, and benefitted from all of the new state of the art neonatal equipment donated by Running for Premature Babies during her first month of life – including a technologically advanced humidicrib, an overhead phototherapy light as well as a special phototherapy ‘biliblanket’ that meant she could be cuddled by her mum while being treated for jaundice.
She also used the newly donated blood glucose machine to measure her blood sugars being a baby of a mother who had diabetes in pregnancy. Diabetes in pregnancy is extremely common in Central Australia and all babies born to diabetics require close monitoring and management of their blood sugar levels in the first few days. This particular blood glucose machine that was donated is the most accurate machine for measuring blood sugar levels in babies, as a regular adult glucometer machine is not accurate enough. The little baby from Nyrripi, after using all these pieces of equipment, went home last week after one month, weighing 2.4kg, on the local all-terrain ‘bush bus’ to her community, 5 hrs from Alice Springs.
Please join us in supporting Running for Premature Babies by registering for:
- the City2Surf, https://www.registernow.com.au/secure/Register.aspx?E=48647&G=174158
- the Sydney Marathon Festival, https://raceroster.com/registration/64232/entry?grassrootz=running-for-premature-babies
- the Premmie Marathon Challenge, https://premmiemarathonchallenge.com/