Our Guild

The Tiny Footprints Guild is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to support the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS), an initiative of Seattle Children's in its research and advocacy efforts, and to champion those born with "tiny footprints".

Our "tiny" babies deserve the best chance they can get in life and prematurity puts vulnerable strikes against them they don't deserve. The name "Tiny Footprints" is in honor of all the tiny feet that are here with us now as well as those who are looking down on us from above.

My work with the Tiny Footprints Guild is dedicated to the courage and strength of my second child, Katie Gower, born on October 5, 2007 at 31 weeks. Katie was only 3 lbs, 11oz. when she arrived nine weeks ahead of schedule. The result of placenta previa (internal hemorrhaging), the birth put both Katie and me at risk. A thoroughly different experience from my first delivery (our son Max was born on September 11, 2007 at full term), nothing could have prepared me or my husband for the experience of the NICU. The first time I saw Katie, our tiny daughter was hooked up to beeping machines. Five other very fragile, very tiny babies were in the sterlie, white room with her. The stress was so great, I actually passed out.

I met amazing people during our time in the NICU, including my friend Gina Hjort. Some babies lived, some fought for their lives and others, like beautiful Ryan Hjort, lost his fight in front of our eyes.

Our time in the NICU was difficult, and even though I was surrounded by other parents going through the same thing, I felt so alone. I started the Tiny Footprint Guild as part of a personal mission to support others going through the prematurity experience. Through our work, I hope to let others know they are not alone and that there are other parents out there who understand what it feels like to see your most precious treasure laying there helpless, just trying to breathe.