Organization: Oliver’s Little Warriors
Founder: Carmen DeMata
Outreach: Kansas City, MO
Our son, Oliver, was born at 35 weeks. He spent 8 days in that NICU to feed and grow. At 3 weeks old, he almost lost his life to Late-Onset Group B Strep Meningitis (GBS). He was admitted to a higher level NICU and spent a month there. He suffered seizures, a stroke, and has permanent brain damage. It was the most difficult time of my life and it was life changing for our whole family. Seeing a newborn struggle to survive is heartbreaking.
I didn’t know the symptoms of GBS or how fast it could become deadly. For that reason, we started spreading awareness of GBS.
I also felt very alone in our NICU journey, even though my husband and family were wonderful at supporting me. As a mom, I felt alone, like no one could understand what I was going through. After coming home I suffered from PTSD.
I started Oliver’s Little Warriors when a family friend’s newborn was in the NICU with Meningitis and I just felt called to help her in some way. After giving a care package I knew that’s what I was being called to do and I needed to do more! I realized NICU moms need more support and what better person to support her than a mom who has been there.
Our NICU Care Packages are focused on any NICU baby, micro-preemie to full-term and their families. For awareness, we focus on providing the public (any region) with information on Group B Strep.
We currently gift NICU Care Packages to three different NICUs in Kansas City, MO. We include an assortment of self care items (travel toiletries, lip balm, lotion, Kleenex, hair ties), a snack and a gift for baby (typically a book or swaddle). When we can, we love to include gift cards for food or gas!
We also host a holiday NICU breakfast at a local NICU where we serve food, drinks, and hand out holiday themed care packages. (This is currently on hold due to COVID-19)
We collect these items year round via our Amazon Wish List https://a.co/iwxIwsJ
We accept monetary donations that go towards our NICU Care Packages and our NICU Breakfast. Donations can be made at www.oliverslittlewarriors.org
We also accept corporate donations and can be reached at car[email protected] to inquire about our current needs