The smile on a mother’s face when seeing her newborn; the laughter of a child; the first embrace between a mom and her baby; this is why I am dedicated to this mission.
My name is Alexandra Hicks. I am a junior at the University of Notre Dame studying Psychology and Pre-Health with plans to attend medical school following graduation. I began working on this project 18-months ago after meeting Kevin O’Keefe. We began talking about Notre Dame and soon discovered we also had a shared passion for helping children through our mutual work on behalf of t Riley Children’s Hospital. After looking through data and discussing the future of America’s children , we saw the potential to make a difference in mitigating one of the most tragic, and yet preventable health crises: : infant and maternal mortality.
Together we poured our hearts and souls into making this foundation a reality. We started with basic research, in order to best understand the scope of the issue. We progressed to learning best practices for volunteers to help Moms increase their chances of delivering healthy babies, and for successfully nurturing their babies through their critical first year of life.
Engaging college students to lead the effort? This was an idea that sprung from realizing we are surrounded by bright, service-focused men and women who likely will become Moms and Dads themselves someday. The campus of Notre Dame is the perfect ground in which to plant the seed of our effort. Notre Dame students are some of the most passionate, driven, and hardworking people I have ever met. They strive for excellence by serving others in any way they can.
My family has suffered through the loss of a child, as has my grandmother. The number of people that infant and maternal mortality affect is much greater than many realize, , and the impact it leaves on a mother is more than a heart should ever have to bear. I have seen first-hand through my work in hospitals as I prepare for a career in medicine, the importance of compassionate care towards all. Medicine is not just about providing prescriptions or diagnoses. It is about making sure each individual feels safe and secure in their health. With thousands of women remaining underserved, it is our moral duty, as caring Americans, to help them get access to the pre-natal care they need to feel this security for not only themselves but their children and families.
I ask you to join us in this mission so that a mother can experience the first time holding her child; the first time her baby laughs; and the first time she smiles while looking at her happy and healthy baby.
You will never regret your choice.