Taking NICU One Step At A Time
Lisa Shearer hates running.
"I don't know what it is, I feel like I should love it but I
don't," says the bubbly mother to nearly eight month old Isaac.
But that didn't stop her from strapping on shoes and heading out
the door for the 35th Sport Chek Mother's Day Run and
She was inspired to run because of her son. Born at 29 weeks, by
emergency c-section as a result of Shearer's dangerously high blood
pressure, Isaac weighed only one pound 15 ounces.
"They held him over the curtain and then rushed him away," said
Shearer, "I didn't see him for another three days and then I was
only able to hold his finger."
Isaac ultimately spent 82 days in the NICU. But now the cheerful
baby is in picture perfect health.
"He is healthy and he is such a happy baby, a real gem," she
said, "and we are very lucky to have him."
So how did a non-runner get involved in the Sport Chek Mother's
Day Run and Walk?
"I was at the gym and was looking at race pamphlets," said
Shearer, "I picked up one for the Mother's Day Run and Walk. It
seemed like a nice way to commemorate my first mother's day and
when I saw where the funds were going I knew that it was meant to
With an initial goal of raising $500 dollars, Shearer soon found
she had to raise her goal to $1,000, then raise it $1,500 and
"We had emailed a picture of Isaac in the NICU and one when he
was at home, and people really stepped up. I was incredible how
generous everyone was."
So while Isaac stayed at home with dad, Shearer ran the five
kilometre course with eight friends. She was able to raise over
$2,000, money that went to life-saving equipment for NICUs at
Foothills Medical Centre, Rockyview General Hospital and Peter
It is equipment; in her is mind, that vital for premature
babies. "The first five weeks that Isaac was in hospital he was on
a SiPAP machine. He worked very, very hard to breath and the
machine was tremendously important to him." said Shearer. She notes
that often babies born that early have problems with their eyes and
brains because of the oxygen they are given and the SiPAP machine
allows for less oxygen to be given
"He is as good as he is now because of it"
With one race under her belt Lisa is hungry for more. She is
training for a duathalon (running and cycling) in the fall and is
planning on running in the Mother's Day Run and Walk again next
year, this time with Isaac along for the ride.
The Sport Chek Mother's Day Run and Walk is one of many
partnered events that Calgary Health Trust receives funds from.
This year 14,000 participants laced up in 5K and 10K run and walks
and 875 children took part in the Little Legs Race. Money
raised at the event will be used to purchase five SiPAP units, a
Neonatal Ventilator, eight Joey Beds and a Bili Bassinet.