Lilian Hope surprised her parents when she arrived on the scene in July 2007, seven weeks premature, weighing only 2 lbs., 12 oz. In spite of dire predictions, Lily survived her first night and spent nearly a month in the neonatal intensive care unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital. As she grew, she struggled with issues such failure to thrive and gastrointestinal problems and required several surgeries. Specialists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were frequently part of her life.
Six years later, Lily’s brother, Aidan Patrick, joined the family. Also born prematurely, with various challenges due to his early arrival, today he takes part in an early intervention program for physical and speech therapy.
Lily and Aidan’s parents decided shortly after Lily’s birth to find a way to help families like theirs, that didn’t have the time or resources to prepare for their child’s early arrival. Lily’s Hope Foundation became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2013 to raise funds for these families. Since that time, 150 families have been helped with essential care items for premature infants, such as formula, diapers, car seat systems, care packages for siblings, gift cards and money. Read more about the foundation at www.LilysHopeFoundation.org. Donations may be made directly on the website.
Lily and Aidan are the great niece and nephew of Marie Bambrick, SSJ, coordinator of Philadelphia Teaching Fellows at CHC. Along with Teri Wiedeman-Rouse, assistant professor of education, Sister Marie advises CHC’s student club, Council for Exceptional Children, founded 10 years ago to help all children with special needs. Each year the club’s members lead a walk known as “Lily’s Loop” around campus to raise funds for Lily’s Hope Foundation to help premature babies and their families. This is the seventh year for the Lily’s Loop walk at Chestnut Hill College; $1,200 was raised for this worthy cause.
For more information, contact Sister Marie at email@example.com or 215.248.7014.
This story was originally published in the October issue of the Connections newsletter. To read more like it, please visit the website.