Our Impact

Our Impact

 

The impact of the Foundation on our families is truly immeasurable. Those whom we are privileged to serve are usually in the midst of medical crisis which is all consuming and far reaching in all aspects of their lives; the Foundation provides some relief and joy through many avenues. Whether it is purely financial or in the form of an activity such as annual gatherings to celebrate life, the Foundation provides such a pivotal role in many lives.

–Dr. Julie Zimbelman

During a child’s illness or injury, his or her family is often faced with worrisome medical circumstances, as well as emotional and financial burdens. Many families have great need and are frequently economically disadvantaged or are under or uninsured.

With support from the community and several partnering individuals and organizations, Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation will provide services to more than 6,500 pediatric patients and their families this year.

For many of these families it means they won’t have to be apart during their child’s treatment or that their child will securely ride home in the protection of a child safety seat. It also means that many families won’t have to choose between paying their monthly rent and purchasing food for their sick child.

Throughout the year, babies in NICUs will receive precious donor human milk, children will be matched with loving companion dogs, nurses and medical support staff will participate in training and service missions and thousands of dollars will be awarded to organizations who share in our mission.

 

Meet the Families & Children You’ve Helped

Hazel –

During her pregnancy, Jessica dreamed of holding her baby girl moments after giving birth, but when Hazel was born unexpectedly at just 26 weeks, weighing only two pounds, four ounces, Jessica was heartbroken to realize that wouldn’t be possible. Hazel was transported to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and was immediately surrounded by a cascade of medical tubes that provided the nutrition she needed to survive.

Hazel spent the next several months in the NICU and, until Jessica’s own milk came in, received life-saving donor human milk from Mothers’ Milk Bank through a feeding tube. A program of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation, Mothers’ Milk Bank was able to provide Hazel with the precious donor human milk she needed in those first critical days.

Today, Hazel is a thriving, healthy girl who no longer relies on a myriad medical tubes thanks in-part to the support her family received from the Foundation and milk bank.

Every day, these programs support families with fragile infants who need life-saving donor human milk to survive. Each child’s illness, injury or birth condition is different, as is the support their family needs. In the face of a family’s ever-changing needs, the Foundation and its programming works to provide consistent support so fragile babies, like Hazel and her family, are hopeful and healthy.

“The doctor told us human milk is extremely beneficial because it lowers her risk of infection, and it’s easier for her underdeveloped tummy to digest. She only needed one milliliter to start, but being a preterm mother, my milk did not come in right away. We were so grateful that a mother out there had donated her milk so our baby girl could have the best possible start to life.” – Jessica

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Zachary – 

Zachary’s family has a full household with four children, two small dogs, one cat and three hedgehogs, yet they felt they were not yet complete. Seventeen-year old Zachary yearned for a larger dog, one that was calm and well-behaved on a leash – a big benefit when you are in a wheelchair. Zachary was born with cerebral palsy, which limits his movement and makes everyday activities very difficult. Even with long-term treatment and physical therapy, he suffers from depression and struggles to connect with others. However, when the Stink Bug Project matched them with a loving lab mix known as BFG, a.k.a. Big Friendly Giant, their family finally felt whole.

BFG immediately formed a special bond with Zachary, who is now reaching unprecedented milestones, thanks to the Stink Bug Project, a program of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation. Since they matched, Zachary has a new found sense of confidence and independence as he teaches BFG commands and tricks. And although Zachary has active medical concerns, life with his furry best friend has drastically improved.

Today, Zachary is a happy teenager thanks to the support his family received from the Foundation and the Stink Bug Project. Every day, the Foundation receives requests from families who have a child diagnosed with a serious medical condition and are looking for the perfect furry companion to bring their child comfort and joy when times are tough. Each child’s illness, injury or birth condition is different, as is the support their family needs. In the face of a family’s every-changing needs, the Foundation and its programming provides consistent support to foster hopeful and healthy families.

“Normal kids can walk across the street for a play date. Zach can’t do that. His best friend is BFG. When we are outside, instead of people staring at his chair, they focus on the dog. It’s a different conversation starter; it’s a better conversation starter.” – Jessica

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Abigail –

When Sierra found out she was pregnant with her first baby, she was over-the-moon. But just one week later, she was rushed to the emergency room and began dealing with what would become a roller coaster of health issues, all of which resulted in a grim prognosis for the survival of her baby. On the first day of her third trimester, baby Abigail was born prematurely via emergency caesarean section at just 28 weeks, weighing one pound, 13 ounces. 

Abigail spent the next 64 days in the neonatal intensive care unit fighting for her life. Sierra was unable to return to work, which meant a loss of income and a struggle to pay bills and added medical expenses. Her husband Joel, a mechanic, worked 60 hours a week just to make ends meet. In their time of need, RMCHF stepped in to offer financial support that helped pay for groceries and infant respite care so Sierra could focus completely on the health and well-being of her baby and herself. Today, Abigail is a thriving, healthy baby girl thanks in-part to the support her family received.

Every day, The Foundation receives requests on behalf of families like Abigail’s, who are going through heartbreaking medical diagnoses or life-altering experiences. Each child’s illness, injury or birth condition is different, as is the support their family needs when the unthinkable happens. In the face of a family’s ever-changing needs, the Foundation and its programming provides consistent support to foster hopeful and healthy families.

“Words cannot express how thankful my husband and I are to receive support. It is programs like these that give us relief and much needed help. No one plans to have a child early therefore you are never really ready for the challenges in the NICU and after. Thank you with all our hearts.”  – Sierra

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Emma – 

Emma’s parents call her their “little tornado,” an active and super sweet six-year-old who was born with Treacher Collins syndrome. A rare genetic condition that affects 1 in 50,000 people. Emma’s diagnosis has forced her to overcome more obstacles than a typical kid her age. Despite enduring 26 surgeries, Emma still struggles with hearing loss and under-developed facial bones and tissues, which make everyday activities a constant challenge.

Emma and her family found comfort when The Stink Bug Project matched them with Snowflake, a calm and loving golden retriever. Through countless hospital stays, procedures, and surgeries, Snowflake has been the perfect companion for Emma, and a blessing for the entire family.

Today Emma is a thriving, happy little girl, thanks, in-part, to the support her family received from The Stink Bug Project, a program of Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation. During stressful times, Snowflake doesn’t leave Emma’s side and her family has noticed an improvement in her speech as she learns dog commands to communicate with her furry best friend.

Every day, the Foundation receives requests from families who have a child diagnosed with a serious medical condition and are looking for the perfect furry companion to bring joy and comfort when times are tough. Each child’s illness, injury or birth condition is different, as is the support their family needs. In the face of a family’s ever-changing needs, the Foundation and its programming provides consistent support to foster hopeful and healthy families – and dogs.

“Snowflake fits so well into our family. She is such a blessing and truly my little girl’s best friend!” – Angela

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Rory – 

Rory was born a healthy baby boy, and the youngest of three for parents Brooke and Tyler. Just seven weeks later, Rory became very sick and was soon diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, a chronic and life-changing disease that can lead to heart failure if left untreated.

Every three months, Brooke and Rory traveled two hours each way to Denver from their Wyoming home for Rory’s treatments which included seemingly endless amounts of lab work, blood tests, and ultrasounds. Both parents took time off work, wanting to ensure they were both there for him when he need them most. This led to a loss of income and costly medical bills which put a strain on the whole family. The heavy travel schedule had an impact on Rory too, causing him to miss out on some critical growth experiences that has caused him to function at a lower level for his age.

In their time of need, Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation paid utility bills and household expenses so Brooke and Tyler could focus completely on Rory without added stress. Today, because of the treatments he received, Rory is a thriving, healthy kid and his family is thankful for the support they received.

Every day, the Foundation receives requests on behalf of families like Rory’s, who are going through heart-breaking medical diagnoses or life-altering experiences. Each child’s illness, injury or birth condition is different, as is the support their family needs when the unthinkable happens. In the face of a family’s ever-changing needs, the Foundation and its programming provides consistent support to foster hopeful and healthy families.

“Being introduced to Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation has helped tremendously. Being able to juggle medical bills has allowed us to survive and live with everything else.” – Brooke

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Sarah – 

Sarah had experienced two wonderful, healthy pregnancies. Her two older children, Kael and Haddie, were thriving. When she learned she was pregnant with her third child, Aeva, Sarah and her family didn’t imagine this journey being any different. It wasn’t until Sarah was six months pregnant that she received a life-altering diagnosis – breast cancer.

The questions and worries associated with how to handle cancer during pregnancy flooded Sarah’s thoughts as her due date was fast approaching. After extensive consultation with her doctor, Sarah was treated with chemotherapy while Aeva continued to safely grow inside her. To everyone’s relief, Aeva was born just one week early, perfectly healthy.

After breastfeeding her older children and knowing the vital benefits, Sarah wanted Aeva to start life with human milk too. As a result of chemotherapy treatments, she was unable to provide Aeva with her own milk and relied on Mothers’ Milk Bank, a program of Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation (RMCHF), to supply nourishing donor human milk during those first critical months of Aeva’s life.

Sarah still has more chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation ahead, but is grateful that her precious little girl is now a thriving, thanks, in-part, to the support her family received from the Foundation and Mothers’ Milk Bank.

Every day, the Foundation supports families with fragile infants who need precious donor human milk to thrive. Each child’s illness, injury or birth condition is different, as is the support their family needs. In the face of a family’s ever-changing needs, the Foundation and its programming provide consistent support so fragile babies, like Aeva, along with their families, are hopeful and healthy.

“Just one less thing in the list of worries or stresses. For going through a hard journey, it’s as good as it can be, so you feel blessed. You feel like you’re being watched over and helped and taken care of.” – Sarah

Your gift makes a difference

The dollars that go to RMCHF go directly to patients and their families and that sets this foundation apart from others where it’s not for the bricks and the mortar and the equipment. It’s really for the families and the patients. - Dr. Steve Leonard

Contact Us

Main

303.839.6782

info@rmchildren.org

5394 Marshall Street, Suite 400

Arvada, Colorado, 80002

 

Mothers' Milk Bank

303.869.1888

Toll Free: 833-234-0555

mothersmilk@rmchildren.org