Letter from The Board

February 7, 2015

Thank you for your support in 2014. We wanted to take a moment to update you on some of the happenings at Morgan’s Fund during this past year, and to share with you some of the exciting things we have planned for 2015.

In March, we attended Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and UConn Health Center’s Neonatal-Perinatal Research Day, Necrotizing Enterocolitis: New Insights into Prevention, which showcased basic, transitional and clinical research in NEC by prominent national and local investigators. This symposium was a wonderful opportunity to begin establishing a network with the medical and research community.

In May, we joined the Preemie Parent Alliance (PPA), a nationwide network of member organizations that are run by parents of preemies and dedicated to providing quality resources, support, and information for families of premature infants.

On June 26th, we reached our first major milestone when the IRS awarded us our 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, making Morgan’s Fund officially the first public charity dedicated to Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). After which, we formalized our Scientific Advisory Board. Ten neonatologists and researchers at seven institutions nationwide accepted Board appointments. The complete list of Scientific Advisory Board members is available on our website at www.morgansfund.org/about-us/scientific-board

In September, we attended the PPA’s 2014 Preemie Parent Summit in Phoenix, Arizona where we made a number of beneficial connections with our fellow PPA member organizations and attendees.

In November, we were invited to take part in Prolacta Bioscience’s Advocacy Tour and Educational Event. We toured their facility in City of Industry, California, and learned about the company’s history and research in exclusive human milk-based nutrition for premature infants and NEC. We hope to continue building our relationship with Prolacta as an exclusive human milk diet has been clinically proven to significantly reduce the incidence of NEC.

On November 16th, we hosted our inaugural event An Affair to RememBeer—in honor of World Prematurity Day at Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford, Connecticut. The event was quite a success! We had over 40 people in attendance and raised $1,200 for research. At this event, we also launched our collaboration with the Curious Cookie Company. Chief Cookie Curator Christine Connole developed a unique artisanal cookie mix blend called S’Morgans, and donated all proceeds from the sales of S’Morgans to Morgan’s Fund. S’Morgans are available on the Curious Cookie Company’s website at www.curiouscookieco.com/collections/mix-of-the-month/products/smorgans

In December, we applied for a grant from the Petit Family Foundation in Plainville, Connecticut. The project for which we applied was our cornerstone educational initiative—a free, audio podcast series about Necrotizing Enterocolitits. In late January 2015, we were awarded the grant funding.

Produced by The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund, and funded by The Petit Family Foundation, these podcasts will be one-on-one conversations with relevant NEC experts—neonatologists, clinicians and researchers—that highlight current prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies for NEC, and the search for a cure. The podcast series is set to launch on February 28th—in honor of Rare Disease Day.

Morgan’s Fund through its support of research, and with your help, hopes to change the lives of thousands of very low birth weight babies like Morgan, who have the greatest risk for developing NEC. You can show your continued support of our mission by making a donation on our website at www.morgansfund.org/donate or by mailing a donation to Morgan’s Fund, P.O. Box 2488, Milford, CT 06460.

Thank you on behalf of all of the babies like Morgan, and families like ours, who have been directly affected by NEC.

Sincerely,
Stephanie M. Vaughan
President,
The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund, Inc.
Mommy of a NEC Survivor

Jeffrey M. Vaughan, Jr.
Vice President,
The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund, Inc.
Daddy of a NEC Survivor

The Vaughan Family, October 2014
Our family (l to r): Shaymus and Morgan in front of Stephanie and Jeff.
Photo: Photography by Jennifer Lynn, LLC

Credits

Thank you to Carey Jones for creating our logo, and to Paul La Valle for sharing his web development skills.