Small Babies Lead to Big Hearts Check Out CLear Blue’s Client Bee Mighty

Clear Blue is excited to work with Bee Mighty, a new non-proft that provides financial assistance to the parents of micropreemies.  Below is the official press release.  Be sure to check out this great cause! 

September 19, 2012 –Charlotte, NC – Parents of micro-preemies know the joy and relief when doctors using the most advanced medical science tell them their babies can survive being born entirely too early.

Parents also know dread in the following weeks, months and years as their tiny babies require scores of expensive procedures, treatments and therapies to help them overcome the many medical challenges they may face.

One Charlotte family has been generous – they’ve shared their joy, and they’ve acted on their discouragement by creating a charitable foundation to help parents of micro-preemies defray the cost of medical treatment for their baby.

Called Bee Mighty, the organization is among very few to fill a gap created when insurance programs don’t cover the many rapidly advancing treatment and therapy programs medicine can offer – treatments that successfully save preemies at shorter gestation periods than ever before and boost their quality of life thereafter. The 501(c) (3) non-profit organization is administered by Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation.

The story begins with a young couple, Candace and Michael Richter. In 2011, Candace gave birth to her young son, Shaw, 13 weeks early at Presbyterian Hospital’s Hemby Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Charlotte, NC.  He weighed just two pounds, seven ounces. As a result, Shaw spent a third of his first year of life – 122 days – in the hospital. There he underwent brain surgeries, numerous bouts of sepsis, hydrocephalous, a vp shunt, surgery for narrow airway disorder, a stroke, hearing loss, twenty-two spinal taps, and multiple bronchoscopies. All of which is the short list.

“Our family spent the first year in a medical fog” says Candace Richter. “We adjusted to bringing home our medically-fragile son, learning medical equipment, scheduling doctor appointments, receiving endless tests and disappointing diagnosis.  We finally began to accept that our family now is considered, ‘Special Needs.”

But with a year of intense care under their belt, the family could see there was much more to come.

“What we didn’t realize until after the first year was the amount of time, energy, tenacity and dedication it was going to take to be an advocate for our child,” notes Richter.

The family realized how challenging it would continue to be to navigate the hospital and medical world while sorting out insurance and Medicaid payments, and all the time pushing to obtain the therapies Shaw would need to progress. During the year, Candace kept meeting other parents of preemies who faced the same dilemma.

“As we continue to fight for our son to receive therapies he desperately needs, I am learning there are many other families just like ours that ‘fall through the cracks’ and struggle for similar support for their children,” explains Richter.  “Our initial goal with Bee Mighty is to provide timely financial support (therapy co-payments, subsidizing out-of-pocket therapy expenses, medical equipment like wheelchairs and braces, etc.) to the families of micro-preemies, maximizing the child’s potential and quality of life, while temporarily alleviating the financial pressures and stressors that accompany exorbitant and unexpected medical expenses.”

The result is worth the fight. Shaw is now walking, and Bee Mighty has operated now for three months, has raised just under US$10,000. They are working with applicants now to distribute the funds and spread the support.

“These children have already endured a tough start to life. We hope to give them the best possible chance at their future,” Richter concludes.

To donate, or determine if you qualify for financial aid, contact www.beemighty.org.”