Kelly Gallagher is a Philadelphia native and graduate of Archbishop Ryan High School, DeSales University and holds a master’s degree in Special Education from Holy Family University. She is a blogger, wife, and a dynamic philanthropist and has been a full time elementary school teacher for the past 14 years. She is also the mother of four beautiful children – Addyson, Ryan, Connor and Curran. Her fifth baby is her charity, The Superhero Project Inc. This 501c3 Philadelphia charity supports premature babies and their families. Her mission is to assist families who have infants in the neonatal intensive care unit and encourage hospitals to promote family-based care strategies. Kelly networks with area hospitals to stay abreast on innovative ways to help families bond.
The Superhero Project Inc., a non-profit organization, began in early 2015; six months after Kelly’s twin boys were discharged from the NICU. Born at 32 weeks, it was a daily struggle to juggle an already busy family of four while making trips twice a day back and forth to the NICU. What started as baskets for the families at the holidays was just the beginning of something much larger. Although it was amazing to watch how thankful the families were, we knew there was more work to do when making that vital connection between home, family and hospital in terms of the NICUs ability to provide top quality care. Kelly threw herself into fundraising and never looked back.
After doing a lot of personal research, Kelly found a technology available to NICU families that place cameras into the isolates and allow parents and families to see the baby even when they are unable to be at their bedside. This opportunity would change the life of NICU parents and allow them to bond like never before. With these cameras, doctors are also able to do virtual rounds, an essential component when dealing with families who may have one or both parents having to go back to work. A plan was developed to put this project into place and make it become a reality. Almost two years later, over $50,000 has been raised and dedicated to making the lives of families with infants in the NICU better.
The Superhero Project Inc. is more than just supporting NICU families. Kelly was the co- creator of The Gift of Time room at Holy Redeemer hospital, a space where families dealing with infant loss can spend their last moments with their baby. Kelly organizes photo sessions, speaks to families and provides them with emotional support needed in a time of crisis. It is about helping make the experience for new mothers and families more comforting and enjoyable. It is about celebrating a new life and recognizing that as a parent, you would do anything for your child.
Kelly believes that the biggest capes belong to the smallest superheroes and that helping others has given her the opportunity of a lifetime to give back to the unit that saved her sons lives.