“Knowing that I can help in any way, big or small, has made me a better person.” — Ashley Presnell, NICU parent, volunteer peer mentor and Team Hand to Hold member
This week’s featured runner, Ashley Presnell, didn’t know about Hand to Hold while she was in the NICU. It wasn’t until later that she was introduced to our services, and she quickly decided to become a volunteer peer mentor. Ashley joined Team Hand to Hold for our Virtual 5k in mid January and in just 12 days, she’s exceeded her goal! Here is Ashley’s story.
Our NICU journey lasted 92 days. Longest three months of my life, to be honest. It was three months of not knowing how things were going to go; if she was going to make it, and many other things. A few days after being in the NICU, I realized that every day was going to be different and learned to just go with the flow. I stayed positive, even though some days it was really hard. Keeping the positivity flowing around my daughter made for a good environment for her. Even though we don’t realize it, they sense when things are off. Watching her grow every day and get stronger was amazing. Everything she did or didn’t do was appreciated because that unknown feeling always lingered in the background. Our NICU journey was an experience I will never forget.
Even though I did not discover Hand To Hold while we were on our NICU journey, they have made an impact in my life nonetheless. They have great information on all aspects of the NICU journey for parents and families. They also have a great peer mentor program, which I am apart of. I have found that parents who are going through their NICU journey need someone in their life who has been there, who can say that it is going to be okay. Someone who understands their thoughts, feelings, concerns, and can provide answers to the questions they have. Knowing that I can help in any way, big or small, has made me a better person. I want to help Hand To Hold continue to provide these resources for parents and families going through their NICU journey, because I know it is making a difference.
Want to support Ashley in her quest to raise awareness and support for NICU families just like hers?
Visit her Team Hand to Hold fundraiser here!