Central Florida Runners and Walkers Show Support for Miracle Babies

Find out how Miracle Miles saves lives.


Geo Morales, APR

On September 21, thousands of runners and walkers of all ages had tiny babies on their minds as they gathered at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando for the 15th Annual Miracle Miles presented by Panera Bread®. The event is held to raise funds for the Alexander Center for Neonatology at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.

Miracle Miles features 5k and 15k races along with other activities for families. Skyler Bakker (time: 17:14, men’s division) and Michelle Kneger (time: 19:22, women’s division) were the top finishers in the 5k. In the 15k, the top finishers were Jeremy Criscione (time: 50:20, men’s division) and Sara Petrick (time: 57:24, women’s division). 

“We’ve cared for more than 40,000 babies in our NICU and Miracle Miles is a celebration of each of those lives,” said Gregor Alexander, MD, neonatologist at the Alexander Center for Neonatology, the Winnie Palmer Hospital neonatal intensive care unit named in his honor. “It’s wonderful that after 15 years, so many people, including quite a few former NICU patients, come out to celebrate and help us save the lives of this community’s smallest and most fragile babies.”

To date, Miracle Miles has raised more than $1 million to help provide the highest level of care for more than 1,600 premature babies each year. At 112 beds, the Alexander Center for Neonatology is one of the largest NICUs in the country and one of the busiest. It is one of the only hospitals in Central Florida to offer technologically advanced care such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. An expansion that is currently under way will add an additional 30 beds to the NICU, making it the largest in the nation.

Other events featured at Miracle Miles included the Kids’ Fun Run sponsored by SeaWorld Orlando, where kids of all ages received a ribbon for participating in a free, fun run just for them, and the Walk-for-Winnie sponsored by Wawa, a symbolic stroll around Lake Eola to show support for all the tiny babies and their families in the hospital.

September 24, 2013, in Health