Expecting mothers in the hospitall get comforts of home from Acts of Grace Foundation

Couples uses heartache to help expectant mothers

DENVER - Pregnancy can be a wonderful journey in a woman's life. But not every mom experiences a "normal" pregnancy.

Fortunately, a local couple provides a gift of grace.

Marlena and Joe Diedrich started a non-profit that serves new moms who require extended hospital stays. It provides little things like flowers and goody bags to help the moms and their families pass the time.

"I think it's great. Right after I got here they brought me a little gift package with shampoo, conditioner, things you might not have thought to grab," said patient and mom to be Annalise.

These simple acts of kindness were born out of heartache experienced when the Diedrich's were pregnant with twin girls, one of whom wouldn't make it.

"The name of it is Acts of Grace Foundation.  That is what we named our daughter, Grace, who was still born.  So you're in bed in this room thinking: 'I am going to lose this child that I have carried,'" said Marlena.

She is grateful for the care she received during her seven weeks at Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical Center, but is now committed to making a long stay more tolerable for others.

"You look at the clock constantly, just watching the time go by," said Marlena.

With a level three neonatal intensive care unit, Presbyterian St. Lukes serves pregnant women from several states.

They are new moms far from home, often with only the clothes on their back. But each week Marlena and Joe show up with Acts of Grace.

"If I can get them to smile or laugh or think of something besides this time in the hospital then it makes me feel good and I am sure it helps them a lot," said Joe.

"They just moved on to a good place, a good place that is helping others and I can't tell you how much we appreciate it," said Dr. Richard Porreco. Director Maternal Fetal Medicine, Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical Center.

Acts of Grace makes it easy for anyone to help.  They have a reoccurring fund raiser called seven dollars on the seventh.  You can pledge seven dollars on the seventh of each month.

To learn more go to www.actsofgracefoundation.org

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