Newswise — Kate and Claire Wild spent their first few weeks of life in Loyola University Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The girls were born two months early after their mom, Jennifer, went into premature labor.
Thanks to the care they received in the NICU, the girls thrived and are now healthy 13-year-olds. The Wild twins will return to Loyola on Sunday, June 10, along with many other NICU graduates to attend the inaugural Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital 5k Race/Walk and Children’s Character Competition.
Kate will sing the national anthem while Claire will sound the starting gun to kick off the race. The race will take place at 8 a.m. at the Loyola Outpatient Center located at 2160 S. First Ave. in Maywood, Ill. Race proceeds will benefit the NICU renovation.
“We are so grateful for the care our girls received at Loyola that we look forward to giving back to help other families who are faced with the daunting situation of having a child in the NICU,” Jennifer Wild said.
The 5K Race/Walk will be followed by a Children’s Character Competition at 9 a.m. Area sports mascots and characters will be on hand to entertain kids as they race. Children ages 4 years and younger will run a 50-yard dash; 5 – 6-year-olds will run a 100-yard dash and 7 – 10-year-olds will complete a half-mile run.
The race will begin outside of the Loyola Outpatient Center and will travel through a scenic, flat course along private, closed streets on the Loyola and Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital (Hines) campuses. Digital timing and scoring will be available along with water and sports replenishment drinks at two aid stations along the race route.
Runners will receive a commemorative T-shirt, and children will get a custom-made ribbon. Entertainment and refreshments will be provided following the race.
RegistrationParticipants can register: online at loyolamedicine5k.org; through the mail; in person at the Loyola Outpatient Center during packet pickup; or on the morning of the race. Paper entry forms and fees must be mailed to Loyola University Health System, Office of Development, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood, IL 60153. Mailed entries must be postmarked by June 1. No entry confirmations will be sent. All entries received will be automatically registered into the event.
Entry FeesThe 5K Race/Walk entry fee is $25 through June 7. From June 8 -10, the fee is $30. The Children’s Character Competition entry fee is $10.
Packet PickupIn-person registration and packet pickup will take place at the Loyola Outpatient Center on the south end of campus from:
2 to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 8
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 9
6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 10
About the NICULoyola University Medical Center has a Level III perinatal center, which includes the NICU. More than 18,000 infants have been cared for in the NICU since the unit opened its doors in 1987. These patients have included the world’s smallest surviving baby, born at 9.2 ounces in 2004, and more than 3,000 newborns who have weighed less than 2 pounds. The overall survival rate of infants in LUHS’ NICU is 98 percent. The unit has become a national leader in neonatal care. This experience and knowledge allows Loyola to provide the highest level of care for high-risk infants.