Meet Anne Gildea, our featured Bee Mighty donor and one of our founding board
members. Anne first learned about Bee Mighty as a neighbor of the founders, Candace and Michael Richter.
"Candace and Michael moved into the home directly across the street from me not long after my husband died of cancer at the age of 59," said Gildea. "Despite the fact that Shaw was in the NICU and they were facing one crisis after another, they were kind and caring neighbors. We bonded immediately over our shared experience with the NICU."
Like Candace, Anne had NICU experience. Her twins were born prematurely in 1982. Her son, Patrick was able to come home after a week but her daughter, Molly was in the NICU for 6 weeks, as she only weighed 2 lbs 4 ounces. Molly was eventually diagnosed with severe disabilities and passed away shortly before her sixth birthday.
"We worked hard to make sure she could live to her full potential, whatever that was going to be," Gildea said. "Reaching that goal involved a great deal of special equipment and therapy that was not exactly in our budget and was not covered by our insurance. We struggled. When Candace and Michael began talking about Bee Mighty, I was excited and honored to serve on the founding Board. "
How have you seen your generosity to Bee Mighty put into action?
"I believed so strongly in the mission to help families during the NICU stay and when they transition to home. It has been a joy to watch Bee Mighty grow and develop over the years. There is much more visibility in the community leading to a greater understanding that being born prematurely is much more than being a tiny baby. The birth of a premature baby who is, let’s face it, very often critically ill can turn a family’s life upside down. Once the family is discharged from the hospital, the challenges continue as they seek to find and fund equipment and therapy that will help their child achieve his or her full potential. Bee Mighty can step in and help where private insurance falls short."
How might you describe our organization and mission to another potential donor?
"Bee Mighty has always operated very responsibly to maximize the money that goes to serving families. When you donate to Bee Mighty, you have an opportunity to make a significant difference in a child’s life. A child may need to use a walker for a period of time in order to learn to walk as just one example. Maybe a family needs mental health counseling to help them cope with the NICU journey. As a donor, you can make those things happen."