COLORADO SPRINGS — We have some of the best pediatric care available at Children's Hospital here in Colorado Springs so when babies are born prematurely the NICU is the best place they can be. However, on top of the stress of the unknown, we know healthcare bills quickly add up. That’s where places like Newborn Hope help out.
The non-profit provides financial assistance and a network of resources for families like that of Chelsey Gamble and Nathan Hempel. On April 22nd, at just 27 weeks into her pregnancy, Chelsey gave birth to triplets. The three are now 6 months old and with one still in the NICU and extended stays for other two, the bills have piled up. Nathan tells me, "The last medical bill I opened was just south of 11 million dollars."
Lindsay Pecheck, the Executive Director of Newborn Hope says the organization is built upon its dedicated volunteers and has served families in 27 different counties across the state, "We have gifted thousands and thousands of dollars to these families who really need support. We help with everything from rent assistance and utilities to medical treatment like therapy." In Chelsey and Nathan's case, it was help with gas money that was the saving grace. "We were trying to figure out how we were going to be in two places. How I was going to be with these two here, and he was going to be with Nora in Denver? How we were going to afford the gas to go back and forth? Newborn Hope gave us the ability to take a deep breath and focus on what was important. Which is them."
Pecheck said 70% of recipients of the Preemie Family Assitance Fund (PFAF) have an annual income of less than $40,000. She said right now Newborn Hope is only able to help 50% of the applicants due to a need for more funding. She said they rely heavily on their fundraising events like November Noel in Colorado Springs and Sips at Sunset in Pueblo.
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