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Celebrating by giving back to Sunnybrook’s NICU

William Cheng holds up a wine glass while seated at a dinner table
Aaron Arora was born on Oct. 24, 2021 at only 23 weeks and five days, weighing 591 grams (1 lb. 5 oz.). He was so small that his father’s wedding ring fit around his upper arm. Aaron spent the first 135 days of his life in Sunnybrook’s Newton Glassman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), his parents Amit and Natasha by his side.

The couple’s journey to parenthood had been long and difficult. In 2020, after years of trying, they got pregnant, but tragically lost their baby at 16 weeks. In 2021, they got pregnant again through a fertility clinic. When Natasha’s labour started extremely early, it was a high-risk situation. She was sent to Sunnybrook for specialized pregnancy and delivery care, as well as intensive care for Aaron once he was born.

We could not have been at a better place,” shares Amit and Natasha. Sunnybrook’s NICU, which cares for about 70 micro-preemies like Aaron every year, provides world-class medical care with a family-centred approach. “From the day we got there to the day we left, every person we interacted with at Sunnybrook was phenomenal. I mean everyone. From the bedside nurse to the doctors, to the staff. They were all so brilliant and empathetic and caring,” says the family.

Aaron went home March 7, 2022. As of the spring 2023, he is a healthy, 22-lb. toddler. He’s learning to babble, to take his first steps and to “eat everything in sight” says his delighted father.

Kardinal Offishall and guests
Amit and Natasha with their son Aaron, who was cared for by the team at Sunnybrook’s Newton Glassman NICU.

With boundless gratitude, Amit and Natasha celebrated Aaron’s first birthday – not with a party and presents – but by asking their friends, family, and colleagues to donate to Sunnybrook’s NICU. They have raised $38,000 towards bedside cameras to enable parents who cannot get to the hospital to see their babies. “We are so blessed and want to give back to the next parents,” says Amit and Natasha.

To support Sunnybrook through your own community fundraising initiative.