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RE/MAX agent helps NICU parents like themselves

Steven Kempton, of RE/MAX Community in Williamstown, New Jersey, experienced firsthand the care and services from a member hospital of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

When Steven’s wife Shannon was pregnant with their second son, Cameron, fluid was found surrounding his lungs at 32 weeks. They were transferred to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to undergo tests and procedures. Cameron was diagnosed with Non-Immune Hydrops Fetalis with lymphatic fluid leaking into Cameron’s chest, abdomen, and scalp, which led to an emergency C-section and transfer to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Cameron spent the first 75 days of his life in the NICU at the hospital.

“I never truly understood the depths of sadness until I had to see my child fight for his life – fight to breathe,” Shannon said. “Something so innate that we take for granted.”

While he was in the NICU, Cameron had several supports keeping him alive – including an oscillator, bilateral chest tubes, PICC line multiple medications, pulse oximeter and more. Welcoming their second child into the world this way was an isolating feeling for Steve and Shannon.

“I felt alone a lot,” Shannon said. “My only conversations were with Steve and our nurses.”

Steve and Shannon would read newborn books to Cameron while in the NICU, but struggled to find stories that resonated with the reality they were facing.   

Shannon began writing a book that she would read to Cameron, finding ways to tell him that his entrance to the world was just as beautiful, despite his medical complications. The Kemptons were inspired to share the story of Cameron’s birth and hospital experience in effort to help other families and parents feel less alone during such a scary and complicated journey. Our Story Is Different: A NICU Beginning is a book that Shannon authored to help other families of premature babies.

Today, Cameron is strong and healthy one-year-old thanks to the care he received at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Child Life services provided at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia helped create a welcoming and reassuring environment for Cameron’s older brother Donovan, who was two years old at the time. The two boys now have a strong bond as brothers, full of love and laughter.

“Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is unmatched. We are forever indebted to every single person we met from the small but mighty labor and delivery team to the NICU staff to the cafeteria workers,” said Shannon.

Donations from RE/MAX help fund life-saving treatments and vital pediatric medical equipment for local member children’s hospitals across the U.S. and Canada. “It means a lot to know that there is a strong connection between Steve’s RE/MAX career and our family’s personal story,” said Shannon. “We are so thankful to be a part of RE/MAX.”

To get involved with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals as a RE/MAX agent, visit