Miracle Babies Foundation was initiated and founded by Melinda Cruz in 2005.
Due to a bicornuate (heart shaped) uterus, Melinda’s first son, Elijah, was born at 34 weeks, spending 2 1/2 weeks in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Her second son Dillon was born at 27 weeks and resuscitated at birth. He spent 9 weeks in hospital before being allowed to go home. Melinda's third son Jasper was born at 37 weeks and also spent time in the NICU.
Having had all 3 babies cared for by the NICU, Melinda wanted to remain linked to other mothers of premature babies. She also wanted to give back to the NICU and thank the wonderful staff she credits for saving her babies’ lives. It was from those experiences that the Miracle Babies Foundation was born and has since helped and supported thousands of families.
The Foundation has established a major global impact, and the incredible difference it has made supporting families through the birth of a premature or sick baby has seen Melinda win numerous awards including the 2011 EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year and be a regular guest on radio, TV, podcasts and at conferences. In 2015, she was a NSW Woman of the Year - Premiers Award finalist.
She is a trusted consumer expert to medical professionals seeking to improve treatments and understanding of the impact a preterm birth has on the family unit. In 2012, she was appointed an Honorary Research Associate at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Clinical Trials Centre (University of Sydney, Medical School) and was the first parent to be an Associate Investigator (2012) and Chief Investigator (2019) on neonatal trials.
In 2014, Melinda joined the Perinatal Society of Australia and NZ (PSANZ) Consumer Advisory Panel and the PSANZ Clinical Trials executive committee.
In 2015, she joined the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Milk Bank Advisory Committee.
Melinda has been instrumental in a number of other trials such as assisting in obtaining waiver of consent for the TORPIDO 30/60 Trial and facilitating the support of Australian parents during the FiCare Trial. To date, Melinda has co-authored 11 medical publications.
Melinda is also a contributor to THRIVE Global in which she has published six articles to date.
In 2014, she ran the New York Marathon with a group of 18 raising over $230K for the Foundation.
For three years in a row, she was an EY Australian Entrepreneur of the Year Judge and she is currently working on releasing her first book.
Melinda has been a Board Director since 2009.
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