Tiny Humans, Huge Impact

In February 2015, our daughter Mikaela was born prematurely at just 24 weeks gestational age at the University of Miami Holtz Children’s Hospital. She was immediately admitted into their incredible Level 3 NICU, where she received unbelievable care and attention for 11 days. Despite her incredible fighting spirit, and the round-the-clock efforts by the talented staff at Holtz, Mikaela passed away after 11 days. 

 

The loss of our daughter left a deep hole in our hearts, and a need to find a way to honor her short, powerful, life. 

 

In the summer of 2015, Jorge was speaking with winemaker Ian Brand, and the two conjured the idea of producing a premium wine in honor of Mikaela, with the purpose of raising funds to support future NICU babies and their families.

 

In the first years of the project, all profits were donated to The Project: Newborn; an incredible organization who serves as the fundraising arm for research at the Schatzi and Stanley Kassal NICU at the University of Miami’s Holtz Children’s Hospital. This team pioneers critical research that impacts premature babies around the world. 

 

In 2019 we met an unbelievable team of nurses and physicians who recently created a program named NeoPals. This meeting touched our hearts in an unbelievable way, as the team was attempting to carry out work that resonated directly with our NICU experience. NeoPals works to facilitate communication between physicians and families, and what we call “normalize” the NICU experience; they provide families with NICU-approved onesies, schedule baby photos (because nobody with a NICU baby is thinking about photos), provide relevant books for family members, and beautiful heartbeat teddy bears that contain recordings of their child’s heartbeat. In the worst of cases, NeoPals provides materials to help grieve, coordinate support groups and grief counseling, and much more. 

 

Once we met the NeoPals team, our goal became clear – support them in every way possible. Whether the need new teddy bears or books, printer ink, or tote bags for NICU families, we’re here to support them. 

 

Every dollar in profit from the sale of all our wines is applied to this team’s needs. We run a very lean organization and rely on the help of many volunteers and supporters to maximize our profitability, and in turn, our support of NeoPals. 

 

Thank you for being part of our journey, and directly supporting an incredible team that directly improve the lives of NICU babies and their loved ones.