“Project: Cameron’s Story” Announces 5th Annual Bookraising Event to Promote Bonding with Premature Infants in Local Neonatal Intensive Care Units through Storytelling

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Local not-for-profit foundation kicks-off annual program to collect brand new children’s book donations for families with premature infants in NICUs with help from local bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, Scholastic Book Event at the Adirondack Sports Complex (The Dome), Open Door Bookstore, Fairview Books and participating Applebees Restaurants.

Project: Cameron’s Story (http://www.ProjectCameronsStory.com), a Glens Falls-based not-for-profit foundation serving the needs of families with premature infants who are currently being cared for in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) across the region, announced today the launch of their 5th annual bookraising event to take place beginning February 16th through February 20th at participating bookstores and Applebees’ restaurants. The goal of the event is to collect brand new children’s books for the purchase of brand new books to be distributed to families in regional NICUs to promote bonding with their premature infants through the use of literature. Since 2009, the project has delivered just over 11,000 books to Albany Medical Center, St. Peters Hospital, Crouse Hospital and Stony Brook University Hospital.

Cameron Jace was born 16-weeks premature and weighed only 530 grams. Jason and Sara Quartiers struggled with how to bond with their new baby who was connected to a ventilator preventing them from holding him at first. They soon discovered a special bond through books and now try to give this special gift to other parents in need.

“The first time I ever walked into the NICU to see my baby, he looked so fragile. I was a very scared mom. For a short while, I could scarcely touch him due to the doctors and nurses wanting to keep a “womb-like” environment. Then while he was on the special ventilator, I was unable to hold him. For those first few days, I went every day to the NICU and just sat quietly staring at him for hours and hours. I finally decided I needed to find a way to bond with this beautiful little boy so I bought some picture books with lots of words in them – and I just sat with the incubator door open and read. I read, and read, and read, and read. After I became comfortable talking so much with a scripted message (the book), I began verbally telling stories…and then just having full out conversations with him. The payoff? Cameron and I created the closest bond two people can ever have. No matter where I was in a crowded room, if Cameron could hear my voice, he would turn his head and look all over just to find me. And right to the very end, I read and talked and told stories to Cam…those are some of the finest moments of my life.”

After 213 days in the NICU and a series of high risk procedures including heart surgery and a tracheotomy, Cameron did finally come home but lost his battle a short time later. The Quartiers, then determined to help other parents, founded Project: Cameron’s Story in his honor.

The organization is asking those who want to help to go to a participating bookstore between February 16th and February 20th and to purchase a brand new book to place in one of the many onsite drop boxes. Simply tell the cashier that you are purchasing the book for Project: Cameron's Story and also be sure to ask for a label to personalize your book.

Additionally, you can help raise funds for the purchase of new books by printing an Applebees Restaurant voucher from the organization’s website at http://www.ProjectCameronsStory.com and bring it with you to dine at a participating Applebees restaurant on Monday, February 17th, from 11:00 am – 9:00 pm. Applebees will donate 10% of your bill to the cause.

Details about the program can be found at http://www.ProjectCameronsStory.com and participating stores and restaurants include:

  •     Barnes & Noble (DeWitt-Liverpool (Clay) - Kingston-Colonie-Schenectady-Saratoga)
  •     Scholastic Book Event at Adirondack Sports Complex (The Dome in Queensbury)
  •     Open Door Bookstore (Schenectady)
  •     Fairview Books (Hudson)
  •     Applebees Restaurants (DeWitt-Liverpool-Lake Grove-Miller Place-Hudson-Kingston-Glenmont-Latham-Saratoga-Queensbury)


About Project: Cameron’s Story
The goal of Project Cameron's Story is to support the bonding of parents with their premature babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), through the use of children's literature and storytelling. We strive to empower parents to form unique and profound connections with their babies within an environment that is often uncertain and intimidating. Our mission is to place a brand new, quality, children's book in the hands of every parent of a premature baby upon admission to the NICU's at Albany Medical Center, St. Peter's Hospital, Crouse Medical Center and Stony Brook University Hospital. We, at Project Cameron's Story, are committed to providing information regarding the benefits of this type of bonding and continue to seek ways to encourage parents to utilize this as one important way to interact with their new little one.

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Marci Chadwick

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