Helping the Youngest

Jake and Sammi Mayerson

When the Mayersons’ twins were born, they each weighed under two pounds. The babies spent 100 days at NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Infant Special Care Unit (ISCU) at Evanston Hospital. It would be 20 days before the couple could even hold their infants. They were so tiny that their first diaper was smaller than a cell phone!

Jake and Sammi are thriving now, having just turned 6 years old in November. Debbi and Bob Mayerson spoke about the couple’s journey at The Associate Board’s Benefit, which was held in October and raised $85,000 for the ISCU and the Department of Pediatrics. The group of young professionals has been raising funds for neonatal projects since 2003.

“I couldn’t have done it on my own at home without the training and support from the nurses at the ISCU,” said Debbi, who teaches high school students French and Spanish. “We spent a lot of time in the unit, and it was an emotional roller coaster—but everyone was so encouraging and supportive to meet our emotional and physical needs, and take great care of the ‘miracle babies’ in the unit.”

Bob Mayerson also spoke at the Benefit about how difficult it was to have to leave the babies in the hospital while he had to go back to work. But he said he “knew they were in good hands.” He could call to check in on them 24 hours a day, which made it a little easier not to be able to see them every day.

The Mayersons stay in touch with the nurses and physicians and enjoy every summer’s ISCU Reunion Picnic, which The Associate Board also supports with its fundraising. “It is imperative to continue to support and raise awareness for the ISCU,” said Radu Cret, incoming Associate Board President. “The ongoing research and projects enrich and enhance the lives of these most vulnerable patients.”

For more information about The Associate Board, please visit

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