Joel and Tanya Wilson and little Isabella sold over $1,000 worth of poinsettias to raise funds for Brooklyn’s Wish Fund, to support families who have babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at Royal Columbian Hospital.
The Aldergrove family has been fundraising to help other families out with gas, food, parking, breast pumps and the like, in memory of their daughter and sibling Brooklyn, who spent 138 days in the RCH NICU. The family’s efforts are motivated by their own experiences but also “so that families only have to worry about their babies and not all the expenses that go with it.”
Twins Brooklyn (480 grams) and Isabella (475 grams) Wilson were born 23 weeks premature at Royal Columbian Hospital on May 15, 2011.
Sadly, on May 17, 2011, after a massive brain hemorrhage, little Brooklyn died. In her memory, parents Tanya and Joel Wilson have started a $5,000 trust fund in support of Royal Columbian Hospital (RCH) families whose lives are thrown into disarray when, due to unexpected circumstances, their newborns are admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU.)
“The NICU nurses made Brooklyn’s passing a peaceful intimate moment for us, and for that we will always hold them dear,” says Tanya.
Today, little Isabella is almost two years old and a joy to Tanya, Joel and big sister Charlotte. As a premature baby, lsabella had a long journey to reach optimal health. Finally, after 138 days in RCH’s NICU she was released to go home.
“I really felt like the NICU nurses nurtured me throughout her (Isabella’s) long stay. They allowed me to share my life, my stories, and my feelings. They helped both Joel and me feel okay with all the emotions that we had. Over time it started to feel like our second home, we would look forward to going in to see our little girl, but also to see the NICU nurses.”
The Wilson family lives in Aldergrove, which meant that they had a daily 82 km round trip commute to and from RCH and other out-of-pocket expenses while Isabella was in NICU.
“By creating the Brooklyn Wish Fund we hope to ease some of these logistical costs for other RCH NICU families,” says Joel. “The fund will provide support for families to access items such as breast pumps, food vouchers, parking and Translink passes.”
“Joel and Tanya are an extraordinary young couple,” remarks Adrienne Bakker, CEO and President forRoyal Columbian Hospital Foundation.
“Their generosity demonstrates a deep empathy for and commitment to other families who may find themselves in a similar situation. The Brooklyn Wish Fund is a treasure in our fundraising portfolio and we look forward to growing its assets with Tanya and Joel. It is a privilege to be entrusted with such a profound gift and the memory of Brooklyn.”
For further information about Brooklyn’s Wish Fund and how you can donate, contact 604-520-4438 or visit www.rchcares.com