Olympic Champion’s Legacy Funds ‘Gold Medal’ Nourishment for Fragile Infants

The Sandra Schmirler Foundation donates $11,875 to Children’s Health Foundation to purchase essential breast pumps
Lactation Consultant Michelle Angelini demonstrates the breast pumpTo help every baby have the chance to grow up like a champion, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation donated $11,875 to Children’s Health Foundation on August 12, 2016. This generous donation will purchase five Medela Symphony Preemie Breast Pumps for babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre.
 
“This generous gift from the Sandra Schmirler Foundation will help our region’s most fragile infants to receive all of the amazing benefits their mother’s milk can provide, helping them to grow up healthy and strong,” said Susan Crowley, President and CEO, Children’s Health Foundation. “We are truly grateful to the Sandra Schmirler Foundation for showing their dedication to neonatal health care over the past 15 years, creating a welcoming and life-saving environment in our NICU.”
 
When babies are born prematurely, they are abruptly thrust into the world before they are ready to leave their mother’s protective and nourishing womb. Premature infants must overcome insurmountable odds without the natural capabilities to do so. Human milk is the ideal nutrition option for infants and offers benefits not found in baby formula. This ‘gold medal’ standard nourishment has significant positive impacts on infants` short- and long-term health outcomes. Mother’s own milk has been shown to reduce the risk of devastating infections such as Necrotizing Enterocolitis (a serious bacterial infection that can cause the death of intestine tissue) in premature infants as compared to using formula.
 
The NICU at Children’s Hospital cares for approximately 900 of the most vulnerable newborns from all across Southwestern Ontario and parts of Northern Ontario. Gifts from donors like the Sandra Schmirler Foundation empower Children’s Hospital to deliver the gold standard in neonatal intensive care, giving parents the joy of bringing home a new little life to love and cherish.
 
“The Sandra Schmirler Foundation has donated over $825,000 to hospitals in Ontario and over $137,000 to Children’s Hospital. We are grateful for the continued support of the local community who have generously supported the Foundation at crowd sweeps and curling and basketball events in London. We are very pleased to be able give back and help more babies born too soon, too small or too sick,” said Chris Atchison, Board Chair, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation.
 
The Sandra Schmirler Foundation is a legacy to three-time world curling champion and Olympic gold medalist, Sandra Schmirler, who passed away at age 36 from cancer. Created to honour her interest in families and children, the Foundation has now contributed over $3.2 million to 40 Canadian hospitals’ newborn intensive care units, in every province and the Territories.