HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- When Amy and Chris George started Melissa's fund in honor of their daughter, they had no idea how long swim for Melissa would last. Twelve years later and they're still going strong.
"To be here 12 years later and to have a record number of swimmers, it's pretty amazing," said Amy George.
With 250 swimmers signed up, plus proceeds from the Miracle Bash, George said they could raise up to $180,000. That money is used to provide equipment Huntsville Hospital's NICU has never had before.
"So this year we're buying a video- guided laryngoscope. That's a brand new piece of equipment that we do not have in our NICU so I'm so excited about that," said George.
She said a huge number of the swimmers at the event are former NICU babies, which makes Swim For Melissa all the more meaningful.
"That's the most special part to me. Those parents are now out of the NICU and they know what it meant to them, and so now they're here giving back and that's how Melissa's fund keeps going," explained George.
She said Melissa's life was about quality, not quantity. The legacy she's left behind impacts thousands of babies every single year.
"You know, it's not just about the George family. All these families are coming behind us whose babies were in the NICU after ours, and now they're part of the event and that's what makes it so successful," she said.
Melissa's twin Ann Catherine spent 68 days in the NICU. Now she's a happy, healthy, 12-year-old. She loves helping her sister's legacy give other children a chance.
"Seeing all these NICU babies who were the same as me, who didn't have that full chance of living, and to see them here today, it means so much," she said.
To learn more about the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund click here.