2017 Finalist - Feeding Matters
Shannon Goldwater founded the “Feeding Matters” organization in 2006 after experiencing first-hand the challenges – and the fear – a parent faces when their child’s life is in danger due to a Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD). Her experience was especially challenging; her fear was threefold. Goldwater’s premature triplets, born in 2002, all were battling PFD. This, after the triplets had survived complicated surgeries. Seeking medical care for PFD was frustrating. Diagnoses varied, as did the treatments, which produced inconsistent results.
It led Goldwater down the path of founding Feeding Matters, in the hopes of helping others avoid the arduous journey her family had experienced. Feeding Matters began with Goldwater and three other volunteers. The organization now annually reaches more than 65,000 people – family members and medical professionals.
Her goal has been to combine efforts of families, medical professionals, feeding therapists and engaged volunteers to mobilize – and maximize – efforts to battle PFD. Feeding Matters promotes advances against PFD by accelerating identification and accurate diagnoses at the outset, then promoting research and care.
She has personally mentored more than 100 families dealing with PFD, connecting them with resources, providing emotional support and, perhaps most importantly, ensuring that their voices are heard by medical professionals
“Winning the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award would be transformational for our organization. It would mean the world to us. Just to be nominated and have a chance to win the award is a victory for us, in and of itself.”