Carrie and Terry Meghie
Terry, and I started the Jackson Chance Foundation (JCF) in memory of our son Jackson. We founded JCF to enrich the lives of families with babies in the NICU by allowing them to spend more time with their baby. Because of a chronic lung condition, Jackson spent all but 48 hours of his life in the NICU, the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit for critically ill or premature newborns. He passed away in my arms while holding his father's hand on September 7, 2012 – just shy of 10 months old. After Jackson’s death, Terry and I asked ourselves what we could do to help other families with children in the NICU. The answer was immediate: ease the burden of the astounding parking fees that are preventing too many families from visiting their children.
Like all parents of critically ill children, we were told by Jackson’s doctors that visiting our child everyday was just as important to his health and recovery as the medical care he received. We were fortunate enough to have the resources to make this possible, spending every day with our son.
But not every family is so fortunate. In fact, we soon found that the reason so many other babies in the NICU were being cared for by hospital staff came down to something as simple as parking. Nationally, parking at NICUs is a major hurdle for new parents ranging from $4,200/month in New York City to $1,800/month in Chicago. The 44-bed unit of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is a state-designated Level IV NICU, capable of caring for the smallest and sickest of newborns. The average length of stay for a baby in the NICU is 28 days, with the majority staying months at a time.
JCF created the NICU Transportation Program to partner with hospitals and alleviate the transportation expenses of all families while their child is in the NICU by providing parking and CTA/Metra vouchers. Currently, the foundation’s program benefits the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Prior to the NICU Transportation Program, monthly or daily parking passes did not exist, and families did not have access to in and out privileges. The Program is fully funded by JCF.
By contributing to the Jackson Chance Foundation, you help families be with their critically ill child, thus enriching and potentially extending their life.
Carrie and Terry
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