Employee Spotlight: the Hardman Blanket Drive
12/18/2019 — Jen Deming
It's the season of giving, and this time of year we like to celebrate those who go above and beyond to help those in need. At PartnerShip, we have two employees we'd like to spotlight for their commitment to spreading the spirit of the season, as well as touch on their own personal experience with an extra special cause.
In spring of 2011, Brian and Nicole Hardman welcomed their first child, Lucas, into the world. Lucas was soon diagnosed with a severe form of Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a rare and painful genetic disease that affects the connective skin tissue, resulting in extremely fragile skin that can blister or tear at the slightest touch. There is no cure for EB, and often the disease is debilitating or in the worst cases, lethal. Wound care, pain management, and preventative bandaging are currently the only options for those afflicted.
Unfortunately, Lucas passed away about a month after his birth. Nicole and Brian are dedicated to raising awareness about "the worst disease you've never heard of" and participate in fundraisers and other benefits working with debra of America, the only U.S. nonprofit providing support to the EB community through funding research and providing free resources.
Every holiday season, Nicole and Brian organize a baby blanket drive in memory of Lucas, for those babies currently in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital. In a time of great fear and uncertainty, the baby blankets provided by the hospital offered comfort and joy to the Hardmans while Lucas was admitted. So, in his honor, the Hardmans collect monetary or blanket donations from those who would like to support families in need.
The hospital is grateful for any blanket donation, as long as it's new and still within it's original packaging. This is the ninth year that the Hardmans will be hosting the drive, with the total baby blankets collected running over a thousand. Each and every year Nicole and Brian are moved by the generosity and love shown by those willing to donate to a cause that is so very close to their hearts.
"The blanket drive has become such a special holiday tradition for our family. The kindness and generosity that these blankets represent help keep our son's memory alive during a time of year when we miss him so much. We know in our hearts that helping other babies and families is the best Christmas present we can give to Lucas. While a blanket may not seem like much, we know first-hand how much comfort it can bring, even if only for a brief moment. We are deeply grateful to everyone who has donated in our baby boy's memory." -Nicole Hardman, December 2019
To learn more about EB and how you can help, visit the Love for Lucas Facebook Page.