Melinda Cruz of Miracle Babies Foundation is an inspirational entrepreneur who works each day for a great purpose. Since 2005, Miracle Babies Foundation has developed and provided vital programs and resources to support families dealing with a premature or sick newborn, and to help their hospital journey and their transition to home.
“For families, the experience of having a baby come into the world not as expected or planned, is life changing. Without support, this overwhelming and traumatic experience can have lifelong effects on the emotional wellbeing of these miracle families. It affects the entire family unit.”
The initiative to start the Miracle Babies Foundation came from Melinda’s own experiences with childbirth.
“Due to a bicornuate (heart shaped) uterus, my first son, Elijah, was born at 34 weeks, and spent two and a half weeks in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). My second son, Dillon, was born at 27 weeks and resuscitated at birth. He spent nine weeks in hospital before being allowed home. “Having had two babies cared for by the NICU, I desperately wanted to remain linked to other mothers of premature babies – people who had gone through what I had. I also wanted to give back to the NICU and thank the wonderful staff whom I credit for saving my babies’ lives and making us a family.”
For anyone starting a business, Melinda believes it is important you truly believe in what you are doing and in being of service to others. Just get started! Don’t wait until you have all the answers figured out; don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions; and be willing to acknowledge both your strengths and your weaknesses. Say yes often and start building a network of successful like-minded people around you.
“What gives me goose bumps is the life changing and life saving difference we are making in the neonatal space. Working with both families and health professionals and together developing and implementing new initiatives that change a families experience at an extremely traumatic time, is incredibly rewarding.”
Admittedly for Melinda, it was a challenge to grow Miracle Babies Foundation as it was a not-for-profit organisation, but she wouldn’t change a thing. Melinda acknowledges her team for the work that they do. She has enjoyed seeing her idea become a reality.
Melinda Cruz’s advice for starting a business:
- Trust your gut – it always speaks your truth.
- Build your team with people who are smarter than you are.
- Create a supportive, meaningful network of external people around you.
Melinda Cruz is a Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame inductee. Read her full story here.