SOURCE: Fetal Health Foundation

Fetal Health Foundation

March 12, 2015 16:01 ET

$25,000 Donation Establishes the Brianna Marie Memorial Grant for Fetal Syndrome Research

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - Mar 12, 2015) - The Fetal Health Foundation announced the creation of a new research grant named to honor the memory and inspiration of Brianna Marie Hissam. The $25,000 donation from the Brianna Marie Foundation will be utilized primarily to fund research and/or therapy that aids unborn babies who suffer from birth defects affecting the lungs.

"The creation of this new grant enables Fetal Health to further expand its research efforts to affect fetal health outcomes," said Lonnie Somers, Founder and Chairman of The Fetal Health Foundation. "We are grateful to the Brianna Marie Foundation for its generous support and to the Hissam family for its kindheartedness in letting our foundation share in Brianna Marie's legacy."

The Brianna Marie Foundation was created by Brianna's parents to help physicians and families learn about the benefits of fetal therapies and the life-saving surgeries that can be performed prior to a child's birth. During gestation, Brianna Marie suffered from a condition known as fetal hydrops in which abnormal amounts of fluid build in two or more body areas of a fetus or newborn. Fluid build-up in Brianna Marie's lungs and stomach prevented her lungs from developing. Brianna's mother, Aran, underwent three fetal surgeries and Brianna Marie was born March 16, 2012; however, she lived for just 15 hours. Since Brianna's death, exciting new research has been done on fetal shunts that drain the fluid build-up from the fetus.

"We're all looking to make a difference in our world," said Aran Hissam, Brianna Marie's mother. "I believe that by focusing on a field that has very little funding we can change the outcome of a child's life dramatically, and together we will make a substantial impact in this field of medicine."

The Fetal Health Foundation, which was founded in 2006, is a national nonprofit based in Littleton, Colorado. Its mission is to provide support and information, fund research, increase awareness and be an outlet for leading medical information pertaining to fetal syndromes. The Foundation exists to arm families and healthcare providers with information that will ultimately help save babies' lives. The organization also serves as a liaison between families affected and the many fetal treatment centers around the country providing groundbreaking care. Fetal Health awarded its first $25,000 research grant, the Nathanael & Gabriel Stowell Research Grant, in October of 2014 to a team at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles that will further study the impact of Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) on fetal brain development. Among the Foundation's major fundraisers are the Great Candy Runs in Denver, Colo. and Jacksonville, Fla. and Eat Run Hope in Seattle, Wash.

For more information about the Fetal Health Foundation, visit www.fetalhealthfoundation.org or call 877-789-HOPE (4673).