Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I am a wife to an incredibly supportive husband, Matt, along with being a blessed Mama of four children (Abbie 15 yrs, Danny 13 yrs, Patrick 8 yrs, and Gabrielle 3 yrs). Professionally, I am an Adult Nurse Practitioner that has a wide variety of work experience in surgical trauma, interventional radiology, women’s health and general health wellness. I am a devoted yogi practicing all forms of yoga/meditation daily to maintain balance in our crazy life! Our crew loves to travel to new adventurous destinations with our favorites including any island of the Bahamas or Caribbean!
What motivated you to become involved with Feeding Matters?
My son, Danny, was born with Silent Reflux which turned into Failure-to-Thrive. He associated eating and drinking with pain, which eventually turned into him fully rejecting all forms of food and his weight dropping significantly. We struggled with his eating from birth until he was 3 years old, when his symptoms finally resolved as he outgrew the condition. During that challenging time our family didn’t know of Feeding Matters and felt very alone going through all of his specialist appointments and learning how to teach him to eat. Shortly after life started improving for us, a friend referred me to Feeding Matters and I was so relieved to find this incredible organization! I didn’t want any family to go through what we went through without support. I immediately signed up to become a volunteer as a Family Coach with the Power of Two Program providing assistance to families affected with feeding challenges of all types. I have enjoyed connecting with families over the past 10 years and look forward to continue my work with Feeding Matters!
How have you volunteered with Feeding Matters?
I have worked as a Family Coach with the Power of Two Program consistently for 10 years. I was honored to speak at the 2017 Feeding Matters Conference sharing the family perspective of life with a child having a feeding disorder. It was truly a gift being awarded the 2017 Community Ambassador Award that same year! I worked as a member of the Family Advisory Council collaborating advocacy of family priorities with medical professionals. I also have worked as a Community Ambassador locally within my community promoting the mission of Feeding Matters to different pediatrician private practices and pediatric services. I was blessed with the opportunity to work on a professional level with Feeding Matters as a Parent Support Program Coordinator guiding the work of all of our wonderfully talented volunteers!
What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?
Connecting with families around the world who have experienced similar feeding challenges that our family went through has been such a rewarding role! You learn that we all may live different lives but our families have many similarities that we sometimes struggle with. My absolute favorite part of volunteer work has been listening to different family journeys and hearing the relief in a parent’s voice when they realize that they are not alone. That form of support that we provide, encouraging families to recognize the strength that they truly have within themselves to advocate for their children is such a gift!
Feeding Matters is a unique organization in that they have the ability to be a family advocate but also balance the important work of collaborating with medical professionals. It is this delicate relationship with families and medical network in our world that need to work together implementing changes. The next generation of our children and their needs must be made a priority! The journey that Feeding Matters continues daily to promote awareness and advocacy of pediatric feeding disorder will benefit our society as a whole moving forward into the future!