Mission and History
To support families with a baby in the NICU (neonatal ICU) and those who experience the death of a child or pregnancy loss at hospitals in Wisconsin.
Mikayla’s Grace provides donations of:
- NICU care packages to families with a baby admitted to the NICU who are expected to have a longer term stay
- Angel memory boxes for families that experience the loss of a baby or child at the hospital.
- Babyloss Comfort Packages to families who experience an early pregnancy loss prior to 16 weeks gestation at the hospital or clinic
- Christmas NICU Stockings to families who have a baby in the NICU during the Christmas holiday.
- Burial boxes for families with early pregnancy loss to take their baby’s body home for burial.
Mikayla’s Grace is a registered 501©3 non-profit organization incorporated in the state of Wisconsin. EIN #45-0632825
Mikayla and Chase’s Story
Mikayla’s Grace was started by Mike and Melissa Terrill in March of 2011 and is inspired by their two babies, Mikayla Grace (6/13/10-6/15/10) and Chase Gabriel (4/22/11).
After a perfect pregnancy with our first son, we were shocked to experience the premature birth of our daughter. Mikayla was born too soon at 24 weeks due to preterm labor of unknown reasons. She went to her Heavenly home after a short 36 hours with us on this earth. She may have only been a tiny one pound five point five ounces, but the power of her to touch our lives and hopefully that of many others is tremendous.
After 9 months of grieving the loss of Mikayla, we became pregnant with our third child. Right from the start we decided that we wanted to cherish each day of this pregnancy, and were shocked beyond belief to find out at a routine 10 week ultrasound that our baby did not have a heartbeat. At that moment, our world came crashing down again. After several days we got confirmation that our baby had indeed joined their big sister Mikayla in Heaven, and I was experiencing what the medical community calls a “missed miscarriage.” We later found out that this baby was a little boy, who had Trisomy 22, a condition that is incompatible with life. We named him Chase Gabriel.
Our lives continue to change, but we will always be missing our sweet babies. We have since been blessed with our rainbow baby in May 2012. We love our two boys on earth immensely, but Mikayla and Chase have forever changed who we are as people and will live forever in our hearts. Until we meet again, we will continue to carry on their legacy by helping others through Mikayla’s Grace.
A family is a circle of love, not broken by a loss, but made stronger by the memories.
Why we started Mikayla’s Grace
Mikayla’s Grace is our way of giving back to our community, and keeping our babies’ spirits and memory alive, while helping other families. Our goal is to give comfort and support to parents who find themselves in the stressful situations we were in. While our experience in the NICU with Mikayla was brief, it gave us a glimpse into how difficult it is to have a very sick baby in the NICU. Most parents do not expect their baby to make their arrival and then be in such a fragile state. The NICU care packages are intended to help provide items that help parents make memories of their time in the NICU and make their lives a little easier.
The angel memory boxes are to provide parents leaving the hospital without their babies something to fill their empty arms. Leaving the hospital without Mikayla was one of the worst feelings in the world. The keepsakes we received while Mikayla was in the hospital are few, but will be treasured for a lifetime. We are providing items that brought us comfort and other items that we wish we’d received during our hospital stay. We want to ensure that other parents will have the opportunity to have special moments to remember their babies gone too soon.
After the loss of Chase at 10 weeks our eyes were opened to how difficult it is to lose a child even during the earlier stages of pregnancy. We realized that these losses are treated differently than the later losses, and that these families get very little support. In 2013 we expanded the mission of Mikayla’s Grace to include support for women experiencing early miscarriages as well with the first donation of our Baby Loss Comfort Packages which are meant to support families experiencing pregnancy loss prior to 16 weeks.
When a baby leaves this earth, there will never be any new memories to make with that child, but as a good friend of ours said,
There may have been a limited time to make memories with our children, but there are endless opportunities to make memories in honor of them.
This is our way of making memories in honor of Mikayla and Chase. We are honored to be able to share our story with you, and the world.