The Walk for Preemies 2020 becomes virtual

Préma-Québec invites the population to register to its 12th annual Walk for Preemies which becomes virtual and symbolic this year. For this special edition, Préma-Québec launches The Journey of Hope  where a virtual incubator will move forward on the road of the Quebec 18 Neonatal Units, from August 5 to September 5, thanks to the public’s donations.

The goal is to create a symbolic link between these 18 regional neonatal units in Quebec, virtually, and to join a maximum number of people who are themselves or loved ones touched by prematurity by sending a message of hope in the heart of the premature babies’ families, offer comfort as well as raise funds.

The Journey of Hope was launched on August 5 through a video in front of Préma-Québec’s head office in Longueuil. The population is invited to follow its journey through Quebec cities where the 18 Neonatal Units are located.

Préma-Québec provides care to premature and sick babies in the 18 neonatal units in Quebec: 6 Level 2 neonatal units – for babies born the 32nd week of gestation or before – located in Montreal, Quebec and Sherbrooke and now is present in 12 Level 3 units – for babies born the 33rd week of gestation or after - located in Chicoutimi, Gatineau, Montreal, LaSalle, Laval, Lévis, Longueuil, Rimouski, Rouyn-Noranda, St-Jérôme, Terrebonne and Trois-Rivières.

Heartfelt appeal for the families of premature children in the context of COVID-19

The Walk for Preemies – and The Journey of Hope launched especially for this 12th edition that becomes of course virtual this year – is the annual provincial Préma-Québec fundraising event with the objective to collect $60 000 this year. Due to the pandemic, this Walk for Preemies 12th edition becomes even more essential to offer the babies the much-needed services Préma-Québec provides for these families.

"Every day in Quebec, 16 babies are born prematurely. Today is no exception… The isolation context makes the day-to-day very difficult for these families. Only one parent by the baby’s side, the other parent who awaits news at home or sitting alone in the car. The very tiny preemie who begins his long journey of confinement in the neonatal unit for weeks to come, from 30 to even 120 days in some cases", explains Ginette Mantha, founder and Director General of Préma-Québec. "A premature birth results in shock and distress, and families are distraught by the painful ordeal. We are fully aware of the financial consequences resulting from the pandemic, however, if you can, I kindly ask the population to help us help these babies and their families by making a donation to Préma-Québec. "

We are actually offering two new services this year to families such as weekly virtual discussion groups and psychological support for parents and health-care personnel.

How to participate

To register by selecting one of the Préma-Québec three key words that best describes your experience with prematurity: Courage. Hope. Miracle at

http://www.premaquebec.ca/fr/comment-aider/la-marche-pour-les-prematures/

For every participation cost of $30, participants will receive a $25 tax receipt and a mask embossed with Préma-Québec’s logo. After registering, participants are invited to ask their friends and family to participate and virtually and symbolically walk together on September 5 to highlight the courage of every preemie and to send a message to their family. Follow together the virtual incubator on The Journey of Hope at premaquebec.ca

Viral campaign – Saturday, September 5 – to talk about the cause

The Quebec premature children day will be held on Saturday, September 5 and all registered participants are invited to join us on September 5 by walking in their backyard, garden or the nearby park; to wear a white, blue or purple shirt to create a visual impact and generate conversations about the cause; and to share a photo or video on Facebook  or Instagram  with the hashtags #VirtualWalk for Preemies #PrémaQuébec2020 and #IWalkForPreemies.

Why register

Sixteen premature babies are born each day in Quebec which mean that today, not only the parents, but the siblings, grands-parents and their loved ones are affected by this birth happened too early and are stressed and worried by the emotional roller coaster of prematurity. To register it contributes in helping Préma-Québec pursue of offering the many services – all free – to the families of preemies who need it the most.

Where do donations go?

6,000 families in Quebec represent thousands of parents who, every year, are overwhelmed about the birth of their premature baby. With these fundraising activities, Préma-Québec is able to offer quality services in the province’s 18 Neonatal Care Units to families experiencing a premature birth. Services include educational and informative documents, in-hospital and virtual discussion and support groups, a private hotline and voicemail service available seven days a week, financial aid to enable parents to remain at their child’s bedside, specialized breastfeeding support, psychological support for parents and health-care personnel and perinatal grief counseling.

— Préma-Québec

— AB

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