November’s Prematurity Awareness Month was a busy time for us here at Brave Beginnings, and we are so grateful to all of you who continue to help us raise awareness of preterm birth.

This year’s Theatrical Fundraising Spokesperson, Liam Hemsworth, started off the month with a feature in the “Cause&Effect” section of the November issue of InStyle magazine. He spoke at length about his involvement with Brave Beginnings, and why his work to help make critical neonatal equipment available for premature infants is so important to him: “The United States has the sixth highest rate of babies born prematurely in the world, and the equipment that we’re fighting to make accessible gives those newborns a much better chance of surviving,” said Hemsworth. “A baby’s life is delicate, and every child matters. So if we can do something to save those lives, why wouldn’t we?”

Platinum recording artist and Brave Beginnings Ambassador, Phillip Phillips, took to social media to help spread the word about prematurity awareness. Phillips encouraged his followers to “Join Brave Beginnings to ensure life-saving equipment is always available to newborns in critical need.” Brave Beginnings is the only charity helping hospitals get the essential neonatal equipment they need in order to give preemies the very best care possible.


A highlight of Prematurity Awareness Month was our November 19 Superheroes Sidekick symposium and luncheon. Brave Beginnings partnered with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to host our first ever symposium spotlighting best practices for caring for premature infants. The event featured a red carpet, speaker panel, buffet lunch, gift bags and a silent auction. In addition, guests enjoyed an inspirational performance by the students of School of Rock. Actress and Brave Beginnings 2015 Theatrical Fundraising Spokesperson, Zoe Saldana, kicked off the symposium to a packed crowd at the Beverly Hills Library Auditorium. “This year, Brave Beginnings received more than 9 million dollars in funding requests from 63 hospitals. They were able to fund 1 million dollars in grants to 48 hospitals. We want to be able to fund every hospital that needs lifesaving equipment. Your support will help us achieve that goal. No parent should ever have to worry that their hospital is not properly equipped to care for their baby. When we invest and support our NICUs, we invest in our children and strengthen our communities,” said Saldana, herself the mother of twins Cy Aridio and Bowie Ezio who were born prematurely.

The Brave Beginnings Superheroes Sidekick Luncheon on November 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging)
The Brave Beginnings Superheroes Sidekick Luncheon on November 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging)

The program included a speaker panel featuring Doctor Raj Dasgupta (Keck School of Medicine of USC; ‘Dr. Raj’ from the TV show The Doctors) and Doctor Philippe Friedlich (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Interim Chief of the Division of Neonatology, and Director of the Center for Fetal and Neonatal Medicine). Topics ranged from “Saving our Smallest Babies: We Have Come a Long Way” to “Lung Basics and the Physiology of Prematurity on the Respiratory System.” Following the program, Doctor Raj tweeted, “Thank you to the board members of Brave Beginnings for inviting me to speak at a wonderful event for awareness of newborns in critical need.” And thanks to all of you for continuing to help raise awareness of preterm birth year-round.