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Get creative in the kitchen to build a better future for babies

Alexa Sommerville

Normally we’d encourage keeping any delicious baked goods you cook on a cold winter afternoon for yourself, but this year we’re all about sharing.

And while you’re at it, stick a price tag on your beautiful brownies, mouthwatering muffins or scrumptious scones.

No, we’re not asking you to be stingy to your friends – rather, to put your baking skills to good use and raise money for infants in need.

Bake for Babies is an annual fundraising initiative for the Newborn Intensive Care Foundation (NICF), which provides medical equipment, nurse education, and funds for research to help sick newborns in the ACT.

The fundraiser was created by Tina Martinovic as a result of her own experience with the NICF after her son, Kristijan, was delivered by emergency caesarean 13 weeks early, weighing only 1.185kg.

Though a terrifying ordeal, Tina credits the physical health of her son and the emotional stability of her family to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“The extremely sensitive, heartbreaking and sometimes painful environment of NICU was the somewhat overridden by the professionalism, level of care, passion and commitment of the NICU doctors and nurses, which was overwhelmingly impressive,” she says. “We felt so blessed, so very lucky.”

The Unit is supported by the NICF, which Chairman Peter Cursley founded to support children like his late daughter, Hanna.

“When we think of hospitals and illness we don’t generally think of babies,” he says. “Each year, the Neonatal Unit at Canberra Hospital takes in 650 babies from the southern New South Wales region who begin their lives with a fight. Over 150 will require assisted ventilation with equipment not available elsewhere. Many are pre-term; many have complications and spend longer periods of time in intensive care.”

In order to give these babies a chance at a healthy life, the NICF asks you get crafty in the kitchen to raise $90,000 to buy four CO2/Oxygen monitors. These monitors can help prevent blindness, brain damage and lung damage in sick newborns admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit at Canberra Hospital.

Peter says people can bake whatever they like, so if your heart aches for cake, scones, brownies, pizza, cheesecake, or all of the above, go forth and channel your inner Mary Berry.

And if you think you’ll bake something so good your friends, co-workers or family members might buy the lot, register via the website.

the essentials

What: Bake for Babies
When: Friday 1 June – Tuesday 31 July
Where: The comfort of your own home, in your workplace, or a location of your own choosing
Ways to get involved: Host a Bake for Babies event, take up the Bake Challenge, support your nearest and dearest at their events.
Website: www.newborn.org.au/bakeforbabies

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Alexa Sommerville

Canberra raised Alexa Sommerville has almost completed her Bachelor of Communication in Journalism degree. After five months on exchange in the UK, Alexa fell in love with solo travel and has mastered the art of daydreaming either about her next getaway or her next meal. She enjoys watching health documentaries, online shopping and old-school film photography, but not as much as she does annoying her mother by using every ingredient in the pantry to bake her latest healthy food obsession. Alexa hopes one day to be writing about traveling, or eating, or writing while she travels and eats. More about the Author

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