Heroism is rarely the bold acts we see in movies. Often it’s as simple as sharing empathy. 

Graphic with black background that reads: 
Who is your... Unsung Hero
Rebecca's Story. 
Images of super hero with Center for Family Involvement Logo. The words "unsung hero" in comic book cloud with orange behind it. Bottom left are outlines of people high-fiving with 3 stars above. Bottom right is a picture of Rebecca with a heart at the bottom of the photo.

Our Family to Family Regional Network Coordinator for Blue Ridge/Western Virginia Rebecca Stickler tells us her story:

“I am the parent of four children with disabilities. When my second child was born 14 weeks early, weighing only 2 pounds, 1 ounce, he had to spend time in the NICU growing and developing until he was strong enough to come home. One of his doctors repeated to us, ‘He is a very vigorous boy.’ This gave us hope.  

While sitting on my couch one day, I got a phone call from my cousin’s wife, whom I barely knew. She had a preemie baby born earlier that year; something we had in common. I appreciated her calling and asking me how I was doing while answering the numerous questions I had about the NICU and premature babies. The emotional support she provided me, giving me tips, explaining some of the procedures done, and alerting me to things that could happen in the NICU would benefit us later as we went through some of the same things.. 

I greatly appreciated the time she took, the patience she provided me in what to expect, and validating my questions and concerns about my child. About a week later, I received a large box in the mail from her with clothing she had used for her preemie. When my son came home two months later, he was still in preemie clothes for a long while later. This was a blessing to have received from someone who has been there, who experienced a similar crisis, from someone I barely knew. She was my hero.”