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The Schneiders with President Donald Trump

President Trump recognized Robin Schneider’s NICU advocacy during his 2020 State of the Union Address.

During his 2020 State of the Union Address back on February 4, President Trump recognized Calvary alumna Robin Schneider for her efforts advocating for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) infants. Schneider graduated from Calvary in 2011 with her Life Track One-Year Certificate. In 2017, Robin’s daughter, Ellie, was born at 21 weeks.

In the State of the Union Address, Trump said this about Ellie: “In 2017, doctors at St. Luke’s hospital in Kansas City delivered one of the earliest premature babies ever to survive. Born at just 21 weeks and 6 days, and weighing less than a pound, Ellie Schneider was born a fighter. Through the skill of her doctors — and the prayers of her parents — little Ellie kept on winning the battle for life.”

Schneider said, “I was first told that I would lose Ellie at 17 weeks pregnant. When we told our church that, they immediately rallied around us and helped find babysitting for our older son, food, prayers, and visits.” The Schneiders visited several hospitals, “and each one told me that there was no hope and that they would not admit me.” Finally, at 19 weeks, St. Luke’s admitted her, “even though there was no hope for viability at that gestation.”

St. Luke’s hospital staff provided high-quality care and encouragement to the Schneider family. Schneider said, “When Ellie was born, I was told she had a 0% chance of survival no matter what they did, but that they would give me the option to attempt life saving measures, and when I said we did want that they worked extremely hard and saved her life. Throughout her entire 5 month stay they were extremely encouraging and helpful.”

Schneider pointed out, “Ellie is an anomaly not only in the fact that she survived, but that she has almost no complications, and none of her complications are serious.” All of the prognoses offered at Ellie’s birth included lengthy lists of side-effects and probable surgeries, but Ellie only had one complication that required a surgery, and now Ellie is a healthy toddler. In his address, President Trump said, “Ellie reminds us that every child is a miracle of life… Our goal should be to ensure that every baby has the best chance to thrive and grow just like Ellie.”

The months spent in the hospital with Ellie have greatly shaped Schneider. “All my life I was looking for my purpose, and was frustrated for many years. After Ellie was born and I spent all that time in the NICU, I discovered that my passion was advocating for these babies and their parents.” Now, Schneider has been able to use her family’s NICU journey “to help families, to encourage and draw them to Jesus, and to help bring miracles to others.”

The Schneider family: Elijah, Joel, Eliora, and Robin
Robin and Ellie