We are grieving the loss of our colleague, friend, and mentor.
Cheryl Milford, EdS
A Message from Cheryl's dear daughter, Carrie Wellbaum
My mom never let me forget that I was her first priority and the love of her life. But, I always knew that her (very close!) second priority was her work. For as long as I can remember, I've known that the babies, parents, and staff of every NICU she worked in were like a second family. Because she was a single mom, there were often times I went to work with her when childcare wasn't available, so I saw her in action from a young age. As many of you have, I experienced her passion for her job and her real desire to provide the best care and to pitch in wherever she was needed (which somehow included taking care of the very large fish tank in the sibling playroom at Magee! 🙂)
When she left clinical practice and the opportunity came up to become more involved at NPA, she was thrilled. As I know she told you all, she felt like she had found "her people," professionals and advocates that shared her passion and love for improving the lives of children and families. I spoke with her every day, and she always talked about the latest projects she was working on, the people she was partnering with, and how proud she was of what you all were accomplishing. She loved you all so much and was so glad to be among your ranks. I am so very proud of the work that she was doing and that you all continue to carry on. But most of all, I was just so glad to see her doing what she loved and feeling like she was valued in the profession she dedicated her life to. I can't thank you enough for filling her with purpose and giving her the tools to help change lives for the better, which is all she ever wanted to do.
My mom was all heart. She was fiercely loyal, loved to laugh, and was basically a one-woman welcoming committee wherever she went. I am so incredibly proud to be her daughter, and I hope I have even a fraction of the impact that she did.
Thank you all so much for your kind words about my mom, and for honoring her in this way. I miss her so very much, and knowing that others are thinking of her and missing her, too, is such a comfort, especially in this very strange year.