One continuous 9-day
hike (route) over the rugged High Peaks (46 mountains in northern New York's wilderness traditionally considered at least 4,000 feet in height): Not a race and certainly not the shortest route, but nearly 200 miles/60,000 vertical feet; (the Empire State Building is 1,250 vert. ft.); of trails, bushwhacks and slides using only our legs. We'll take a little time for sleep, but will use no vehicle or trail support at any point. The mileage ranges anywhere between 10 to 28 miles per day with between about 4,000 to 9,000 feet of daily vertical gain/loss. Click here
for some rough equivalents to our expedition, training and other tidbits! Full details will be released after our completion.
Baker Neonatal Intensive Care Unit:
As a state-designated level IV regional perinatal center
serving central and upstate New York, the Walter R.G. Baker
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Crouse Hospital provides
a full range of services including cardiac, surgical and
neuro-surgical care for the very sickest premature and full-term
newborns in the area - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Other hospitals from throughout the region transport their
most sensitive neonatal cases to Crouse Hospital, with patients
arriving by ambulance, or often by Medevac helicopter service,
with Crouse staff handling all of these transports.On a
given day, more than 85 full-time staff members, plus many
physicians and nurse practitioners, work around-the-clock
to care for 45-55 newborns a day. Each year, more than 900
premature and critically ill newborns are cared for in the
NICU, with another 200 a year admitted briefly for observation
after birth. Monies raised will be donated to the Crouse
Health Foundation to assist with the renovation of the Baker
NICU's Family Waiting and Bereavement Rooms. These two areas
serve as havens for NICU families as they wait between visits
or if they need a quiet space to mourn the loss of a child.
Proceeds from 2009 will be used for the design and production of a 16-page booklet that will be given to each NICU family. This publication will give parents and families an idea of what to expect when their baby is admitted to the NICU including visiting guidelines and hours, an overview of what each professional does in caring for their baby, how feedings are handled and information on other NICU activities. Parents will find the material extremely helpful as they deal with the unexpected, and it will also help staff by conveniently compiling the basic information that families need and request. Click here to see how 2007 proceeds were put to work.
are attempting the hike. Now, we challenge you, the community,
to pledge on our effort or donate any amount you feel comfortable
with to the Aidan and Allyson McKenna Memorial Fund.
ALL donations using either method go directly
to benefit the NICU. Show your support in one of two ways:
1. Donate now or
2. Make a pledge and donate after we finish.
your donation or pledge via The
Crouse Foundation's secure link. In the section that
says, "To be used as follows," select "McKenna Fund" from
the drop down menu. If you are only pledging at this time,
add "Pledge" before your name in the "List My Name As Follows"
box. Your pledge will be processed upon the completion of
our Traverse attempt. You may also write or phone your donation,
pledge, or questions to:
c/o The Crouse Health Foundation
736 Irving Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13210
Either way, Crouse Hospital will mail an acknowledgement
of your contribution. Please be sure to include your e-mail
address on the pledge/donation forms if you would like to
receive periodic updates on our training and progress, photos,
and other tidbits for your enjoyment.
Behind the Benefit
benefit has a cause. Crouse Hospital is that cause, but Rico
would like to share the meaning behind the cause.
wife had a very complicated pregnancy. Since her pregnancy
was termed "at risk", we were transferred to Crouse Hospital
as they had the only NICU in the area. Due to further complications,
my wife had a hospital stay of over two months, followed by
the passing of our twin newborns. The service and staff of
the NICU were exceptional. There is no other way to describe
the staff other than "angels on earth" and I thank God the
employees of Crouse Hospital were there.
during our short stay, there were several other babies in
the NICU, and several other parents going through the same
hardships as we. According to the March of Dimes, "Premature
birth is one of the most common, serious and costly problems
facing America's infants, affecting more than 500,000 babies
in the U.S. each year, and causing disability and death in
too many cases. Recent government data shows preterm birth
to be the leading cause of newborn death in the United States.
In addition, over two-thirds of infants who died were born
more support institutions like Crouse Hospital have, the better
they are able to deal with situations like my wife and I endured.
I canít change events in our past. I can, however, do everything
in my power to make sure others continue to experience the
best in care for their loved ones.
tossed around several ideas of how I could give back even
a little and combined my love of hiking with fundraising ideas.
To this end, we now hike the 46, hoping that enough people
will identify with our cause to make a difference for other
families in need of this specialized care.
Families for their support:
Jesus Christ for being my Personal Savior;
Deb MacKenzie; Mac, Lois & Blanche MacKenzie; Taylor Drugs
- Owen & Janice Taylor
Jeri McKenna, Ainsley McKenna
June 12, 2009
© 2007 Kevin B. MacKenzie & Richard D. McKenna