Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Star Tribune Article

Today Ella's Halo was featured in the Star Tribune.  Here is the link or read the article below.  Thanks Jean for writing such a beautiful piece about Ella's Halo. 

Charity helps parents of preemies
Article by: Jean Hopfensperger , Star Tribune

Taryn Krumwiede wasn't expecting to give birth when she went to the emergency room for what she thought was a minor pregnancy complication.

But daughter Ella was born that March evening in 2009, weighing just over a pound. Krumwiede and husband, Ryan, found themselves reeling with emotions and unprepared in many ways for a round-the-clock vigil of their daughter.

"When we went to the hospital, I just had a purse,'' said Krumwiede, of Richfield. "We didn't have toothbrushes, not even a piece of paper to write the doctor's name on.

"But we weren't about to leave,'' she said. "Those first few hours, few days, are critical.''

Baby Ella died 83 days later. The couple decided to direct their heartbreak into something positive, creating a nonprofit called Ella's Halo to help other parents in similar straits.

The nonprofit gives parents some basic creature comforts to tide them over in those first frightening hours. It has donated hundreds of "welcome bags'' for parents at Children's Hospitals in St. Paul and Minneapolis containing items such as cameras, toiletries, reusable water bottles, pens and notebooks.

It also donates CD players, soft lullaby music and even molding kits that make replicas of baby footprints or hands. Those donations go directly to the neonatal intensive care units of several hospitals.

For brothers and sisters in the waiting room, Ella's Halo donates toys, books and DVDs.

The Krumwiedes get their donation ideas by visiting support groups for parents of premature infants. Their work continues to expand, even though both hold full-time jobs. Taryn Krumwiede works in human resources and Ryan is an advertising representative.

"I still consider it a hobby,'' joked Taryn. "But I'm not sure that's how my husband feels.''

On Saturday, Ella's Halo's second annual "Bowling for Babies" fundraiser will be held at the Park Tavern Bowling and Entertainment Center in St. Louis Park. Kids are welcome. For more information, go to www.ellashalo.com.


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