We have a number of wonderful people helping us out. If you would like to Volunteer with CPBF-FBPC, please contact us!
Here are some profiles of our volunteers:
Caitlin Nicholson of Edmonton, Alberta is a proud mother of her 3 year old son and 1 year old daughter. In late 2011 Caitlin delivered her son on his due date following the rapid onset of HELLP Syndrome. Almost exactly 2 years to the date of her son's birth, her daughter was born at 32 weeks gestation due to preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) at 30.5 weeks.
Caitlin’s experience with HELLP Syndrome, PPROM and the NICU ignited her passion and commitment to bringing a voice to maternal health issues and premature birth/babies. She was so moved by their experience in the NICU that shortly after discharge Caitlin found the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation online and reached out to be involved.
The support she has received from others she has met through the Candian Premature Babies Foundation has been both comforting and inspirational and she is proud to be able to now offer her help and support to other NICU families.
Inspired by her personal experiences with pregnancy, childbirth and post partum care, after over a decade with the public sector Caitlin recently resigned her position and is enjoying being a stay at home mom while she continues her nursing education on a part-time basis.
Jackie Grant is a Registered Early Childhood Educator, Supervising child care programs for a non-profit multi-site agency within the Greater Toronto Area. Having worked in child care programs for nearly 20 years, Jackie is currently enrolled in the Early Interventionist Graduate Certificate Program at Seneca College, pursuing professional specialization to promote the inclusion of children with special needs.
After a year of fertility treatments, in January of 2011 Jackie and her husband Shaun, a middle school Teacher, welcomed their daughter Sadie into their lives at 26 weeks gestation. Sadie, weighing 864 grams, was born at Markham-Stouffville Hospital and was soon transported to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto via the Sick Kids Transport team.
Sadie’s largest struggle at birth was lung development, and after a 95 day NICU stay she came home on oxygen support at a whopping 3100 grams. Sadie soon began regular physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions at Grandview Children’s Centre; had regular visits with the Durham Region Infant Development Clinic, and has appointments with the Sunnybrook Neonatal Follow-Up Clinic.
Jackie has encountered many parents of preemies in her line of work, and enjoys bonding over everyone’s unique and emotional journeys their little miracles have led them on. Sadie enjoys bonding over chocolate…
I am Alison Martens, I live in northern Alberta where I was born and raised. I have the privilege of being able to call myself mother to a delightful 6 year old boy Jacob. Jacob was born at 24 weeks gestation in May of 2008 and as a result of his early birth he deals daily with several severe disabilities. This keeps me very busy indeed, though to Jacob it’s everyday life and we both love it.
I work part time as a chef in a privately owned kitchen within a hotel. Both Jacob and I attend school a few days a week. When we are relaxing you can find us in our home snuggling, or playing.
For my mommy time you will find me on the runners of a sled dog team, skijoring or just generally spending as much time outside as much as possible year round. I enjoy the opportunity to give back, the CPBF is just one of the volunteer positions I hold regarding paediatric healthcare. I am a council member for the Family Centered Care Council at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton AB where we as a council promote Family centered Care practices in every aspect of a child’s care. I am a member of the steering committee for the Canadian Family Advisory Network a national network of parents partnered with their healthcare facilities.
I am also chair for the Regional Parent Advisory Committee for Family Supports for Children with Disabilities here in northern Alberta, a government program here in Alberta where families can find support in dealing with the extra ordinary care and cost of having a child with a disability. I look forward to being a part of the progress and supports that CPBF has to offer families who are joining us all in being preemie parents.
Alicia Wheeler works professionally in Human Resources at Affinity Credit Union in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and is mom to a 26 weeker boy. Born in Saskatoon at Royal University Hospital, Blake and his twin brother Noah were born weighing 1lb 12oz and 1lb 4oz respectively. Unfortunately Noah passed away on day 13 from surgery complications. Blake spent a total of 110 days in the NICU, his journey was far from smooth. Blake is now a healthy eight year old boy, who enjoys playing hockey and riding bikes with his younger brother Benjamin.
After their experience Alicia has made it her personal mission to give back to the NICU and help others with the same journey. She has been involved in the design of the new Children’s Hospital that is currently under construction in Saskatoon.
She has formed an informal group of veteran NICU moms and nurses to plan special events for the parents of the NICU throughout the year. She has a close connection to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan and is a regular voice on their annual Radiothon.
She is honored and proud to be part of the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation.
Jack (Jacqueline) Hourigan
Jack is a professionally trained Second City improviser, speaker, writer and television host with more than 20 years of experience in the communications field. She has coached all levels of clinicians, corporate staff, and individuals on how to connect with their audience and how to effectively communicate their story and call to action. She has worked with foundations to lobby government, facilitated brainstorming sessions to create innovative fundraisers, awareness campaigns and events. Jack has written corporate marketing campaigns, blogs, scripts and speeches for a variety of high profile individuals and major organizations.
In addition to Jack’s vast communications background, she was the first parent to participate in the Family Integrated Care (FICare) NICU study at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital in 2011 with her micro preemie daughter Tess. Jack was then hired on staff as the Mount Sinai NICU Parent liaison in Toronto and became the Family Integrated Care (FICare) Parent coordinator across Canada. She has trained patient advocates and staff alike on patient involvement and engagement, safety, improving communication skills and storytelling. She has been the keynote speaker and given workshops at many international conferences including Gravens, IPFCC, CANN, EPIQ and Stanford University.
Jack specializes in improvisational comedy and is passionate about Patient Centered and Family Integrated Care education in all areas of healthcare including Prematurity, Youth Mental Health, and Women’s health.
Karine Canuel is a teacher in the province of Quebec and mom of a little girl born at 24 weeks gestation while away from home.
Born in Ontario at Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, she was immediately transferred to Sunnybrook Hospital Health Sciences Centre in Toronto where her 141 day journey was punctuated by many ups and downs.
The outstanding care her daughter received and the amazing support she and her partner had by the team, allowed them to go home confident despite not knowing what the future would hold.
Three years later, her daughter is a real ray of sunshine.
Having the cause of premature babies at heart, Karine is very proud to support the CPBF work.
Christina Moss is a mother of two from Mississauga, Ontario. In 2013, she had her first child, a beautiful baby girl, at 28 weeks gestation. She was born at Credit Valley Hospital after being admitted at 27 weeks when her water began to slowly leak due to unknown reasons.
Hours after birth, She was transferred by the Sick Kids Transfer Team to Sunnybrook Hospital Health Sciences Centre where she spent 4 weeks in their NICU. At 32 weeks, she returned to Credit Valley close to home for the remainder of her 91 day NICU stay.
She is now a thriving toddler with a passion for life and a wonderful big sister! Christina is honoured to be able to volunteer with the CPBF, knowing that families affected by premature birth, like hers, can find the support and resources they need - just like she was able to.