Heather and Warren McNeel’s son, Hudson, was born prematurely at 24 weeks — one of 1,400 premature babies born in the U.S. every day. Because Hudson needed the most complex level of neonatal care, he was transferred to UW Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). “I just felt this wave of comfort, because I knew Hudson was in the best possible place he could be, and he was receiving profound care from the most amazing people,” says Heather.

Although Hudson lived for only a few days, his memory is preserved through the work of the Hudson David McNeel Foundation, established by his family. “We needed to do something not only to recognize the care that Hudson received, but also to start spreading awareness and giving back,” Heather says.

The foundation gives 100 percent of its donations, directed to fund research and development for premature care, to UW Medical Center’s NICU. The foundation has funded programs for NICU babies and their families, training and continued education for NICU staff, and numerous pieces of equipment.

“This foundation has been such a tremendous outlet for us to remember our son while helping so many others in need,” says Heather. “With prematurity on the rise, it’s our goal to continue developing a legacy that will truly make a difference.”