CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Cedar Grove residents Joe and Giselle Mongiello are asking for support for the second annual NICU STRONG Walk on September 15 at Van Saun Park in Paramus.  Founded by the Mongiellos, money raised through the walk will be donated for the vital equipment and patient and family needs of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Hackensack Meridian Health Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, where the Mongiello’s twin daughters, Mia and Mikayla, spent the first months of their lives after being born 12 weeks premature.

Today Mia and Mikayla are four years old and thriving.  They attend school three days a week and are learning new things every day.  The Mongiellos credit the NICU at Hackensack Hospital for saving their lives.

“The staff at Hackensack NICU went above and beyond not only for our daughters but for us,” said the Mongiellos. “We owe them so much and are extremely grateful for saving our little miracles.”

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In an effort to give back to the hospital that gave their daughters so much, the Mongiellos joined a family council at Hackensack Hospital to help other families in the NICU.  They began volunteering in January of 2017, and they’re part of several programs that help families navigate the ups and downs of the NICU.

To continue their volunteer efforts and raise money for the NICU, the Mongiellos planned the first ever NICU STRONG walk in 2018 after attending a conference in October 2017 and learning about the idea. Mongiello proposed the walk and the hospital jumped on board to support the Mongiellos.

Now in it’s second year, the Mongiellos hope the walk raises even money to support the NICU, which admits about 940 newborns each year.  The need is great for innovative treatment and care. To address their medical needs, the hospital provides services for the best possible outcome and to help these newborns grow happy and healthy.

To learn more and donate, visit http://www.hackensackumcfoundation.org/site/TR/Events/General?px=1268017&pg=personal&fr_id=1650