Children’s invites you to gather your friends and family to join us for one of our most inspiring events of the year. The Baby Steps 3K Walk and Party takes place on Saturday, May 31. More than 1,600 people are expected to walk in support of the neonatal program. This special event honors and celebrates our littlest patients, providing an opportunity for families to give back.

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Andrea and Matt Sanders were one of the families who participated in the first Baby Steps event, which took place in 2011. Inspired by the care that they received at Children’s, they have joined us every year since then. Their team, Ryan’s Racing Crew, now includes up to 90 friends and family.

They formed the team in honor of their son, Ryan, who was born on August 25, 2010. Two days after birth, Ryan began experiencing seizures. The family was sent to Children’s, where they would stay for four weeks while Ryan received care. At nine pounds, Ryan got a lot of attention from staff.

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“There weren’t a lot of babies his size in the NICU,” Andrea says. “But we quickly learned that the program treats more than just preemies. We can’t say enough about the care we received.”

With primary care nurses closely involved in Ryan’s care, the NICU became a home away from home for the Sanders family. And when things felt scary and chaotic, Andrea and Matt leaned on their nurses, talking through their fears.

The staff was there for the entire family, including older son, Mason. They worked to make their stay feel normal in spite of the circumstances.

Ryan’s underlying condition is unknown, and he continues to receive care at Children’s. The Sanders choose to participate in Baby Steps because it is important to them to support the program. “Our family and friends love to come out and help the cause,” Andrea says.

Through their support and the support of others, they will continue to help not only advance the program, but provide all the things that made their own experience a little easier.