In honor of Prematurity Awareness Month and World Prematurity Day, Hand to Hold is pleased and honored to announce the winners of the 2012 Preemie Power Photo and Essay Contest. To say we were overwhelmed by the amazing, inspirational journeys of these children and families is an understatement. These courageous and resilient children whose stories we have been eagerly reading are phenomenal. They are so much like our own in large and small ways.
In the end, choices had to be made, and we present you with an admirable slate of children who truly represent the journeys many of us have been on. And, I encourage you also to enjoy reading each of the children whose parents submitted an entry in the contest. In sum, we had 187 families submit photos and stories from 46 states, 5 provinces in Canada and from as far away as Hawaii! Each story will receive its spotlight over the course of the next year on the Preemie Power blog and its sister Facebook page.
Four-month-old triplets Cole, Caleb and Reagan of Detroit received top honors in the 0 to 6 months age category. “Mighty Triplet Threat” were born at 32 weeks gestation weighing 3 pounds and spent 33 days in the NICU. Finalists in the same category included three-month-old Owen, “Owey the Great,” of San Diego and six-month-old twins Jacen and Spencer, “The Dynamic Drooling Duo,” of Austin, Texas.
Nine-month-old Jude of Kansas City, Kan., was named the winner in the 7 to 12 months age category. “Jude the Ad’vent’turer” was born at 31 weeks gestation weighing 4 pounds, including a 10-ounce tumor, at birth. He spent 111 days in the NICU. Finalists in the same category included eight-month-old twins Kastyn and Kenady, “Tiny-N-Tuff,” of Shady Point, Okla. and 11-month-old Cassandra, “Skunkalicious,” of Knoxville, Pa.
Ten-month-old Ezra of San Dimas, Calif. won recognition in the over 1 to 3 years age category. “Jedi” was born at 25 weeks, weighed 2 pounds 3 ounces at birth and stayed in the
NICU 76 days. Finalists in the same category included 2-1/2 year old Ava, “Amazing Ava” from Darien Center, N.Y. and two-year-old triplets Reese, Troy and Jillian, “The Amazing Micro-Preemie 3 Amigos” from Lansing, N.Y.
Overall winner, Adeline of San Antonio was chosen the winner in the over 3 to 5 years age category. “Adeline the Dragon-slayer” spent 135 days in the NICU. Finalists in the same category included five-year-old Jasmine, “Warrior Princess Jasmine,” of Surrey, British Columbia and five-year-old Cole, “Cowboy Cole” of Orange, Texas.
Triplets Lathan, Lauren and Logan Guinn, 6, of Houston were chosen as the top winners in the age 5 years and over category. “The Triumphant Trio” were born at 28 weeks gestation, weighed 2 pounds 14 ounces, 2 pounds 12 ounces and 2 pounds 10 ounces, respectively. Each spent between 57 and 76 days in the NICU. Finalists in the same category included six-year-old Aiden and Ethan, “Miracle Twins,” of Snoqualmie, Wash. and six-year-old Serena, “Faith’s Mighty Miracle” of Salt Lake City.
Fifteen-month-old Ezra, was also recognized with the Thundering Thurston Award for earning the most votes –1,582 in all. This award was named for Thurston Mossholder, an inaugural Preemie Power winner from Round Rock, Texas. who lost his battle against complications arising from his prematurity shortly after his first birthday in 2011.
We are so very grateful to our celebrity judges which included Texas Children’s Hospital Neonatologist and star of TLC’s Little People Dr. Jennifer Arnold; Maureen Doolan Boyle, executive director of New York-based Mothers of Super Twins and mother of triplets; Kansas City neonatologist and author of For the Love of Babies, Dr. Sue Hall; Omaha-based author of Heading Home with Your Newborn and Food Fights, pediatrician and parenting expert Dr. Laura Jana; and Duke University School of Nursing Clinical Instructor, Research Project Manager and Clinical NICU Nurse Donna J. Ryan, MSN, RN.
Visit our Preemie Power page to see all the many sponsors and supporters who made this contest possible. If you’d have a connection for us and would like to be involved next year, drop me a line!