January 17, 2019 2:49 pm
Updated: January 17, 2019 2:52 pm

Corus Radiothon: Where your donations are going

WATCH ABOVE: Su-Ling Goh explains why milk warmers benefit babies in neonatal ICUs.

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Last year’s Corus Radiothon raised more than $1.4 million dollars for the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. And as the generous donations pile up this year, Stollery staff are hoping for enough to cover some key equipment for tiny babies.

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“We want to be able to provide the best nutrition possible to our infants, as well as be able to provide it when they need it,” said clinical nurse specialist Valerie Levesque.

READ MORE: Stollery Radiothon celebrates 20 years and over $22M

Penguin Nutritional Warmers are special machines that heat a bottle of formula or breast milk to perfect body temperature. They also gently vibrate the milk.

“This gentle warming helps to ensure that none of the essential nutrients or the protective immunity factors are broken down,” said Levesque, who works in the Stollery’s neonatal intensive care unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

Milk warmer in the Stollery NICU in the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

Su-Ling Goh, Global News

She explained the bowels of premature babies aren’t developed yet, which puts them at risk of necrotizing enterocolitis — a serious intestinal illness. The milk warmers ensure optimal nutrition and maximum safety.

Right now up to 69 preemies in the NICU are sharing 20 machines. With strict safety checks on the unit, staff say the risk of mixing up bottles is small, but having one milk warmer per bed would reduce it even more.

READ MORE: Corus Radiothon raises $1.4M for the Stollery Children’s Hospital

Milk warmers cost about $2,500 each. The Radiothon aims to raise enough to buy four.

Another goal is to buy a $10,000 portable scoliosis machine for the Stollery, which reduces the amount of radiation a young patient may need.

“The Corus Radiothon is a huge benefit to our city,” said Levesque.

“The amazing support that we get from Edmontonians, and all Albertans, to… bring that innovative high-technology to our units… just really supports our babies and our families so greatly.”

Watch below: Global News coverage of the 2019 Corus Radiothon, including live coverage from the Stollery Children’s Hospital 

You can donate three ways:

1.  Donate online

2.  Call 780-407-5437 or 1-866-407-5437 to donate over the phone

3.  Text STOLLERY to 45678 to donate $10, $20 or $25

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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