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Local miracle baby named poster-child

Regina radio station Z99 has recently named a local family as their official poster family for their upcoming Radiothon.
The Runge Family: Maegan, Gabe, and daughters (l-r) Memphys, Presleigh and Bostyn.

Regina radio station Z99 has recently named a local family as their official poster family for their upcoming Radiothon. As an annual fundraising event in support of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the Z99 Radiothon takes place in March and the family of Memphys Runge want to encourage their community to make a donation.

"You just never know when you or someone you know may need the Regina General Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit," said Maegan Runge. "Never did expect that we would."

Runge's third pregnancy differed radically from her first two. After several trips to the Emergency Room and to her doctor, Runge was hospitalized in Regina in June of 2010. Runge was diagnosed with HELLP Syndrome, a life-threatening obstetric complication.

On July 4, 2010, at only 26 weeks gestation, the Runges' third daughter, Memphys, was born weighing only 1 lb 15 oz.

"Some may not realize exactly what a preemie goes through on a daily basis," said Runge. "While in the NICU, she was poked multiple times daily for blood work, ECGs on her heart, chest x-rays to check her lungs and head ultrasounds to check for brain hemorrhages."

After 99 days in the NICU, Memphys was finally able to come home to meet her big sisters, Presleigh and Bostyn.

At only 5 lbs 9 oz upon discharge, Memphys was still hooked up to an apnea monitor and the Runges were also advised to have a supply of oxygen in their home. They never had to use the oxygen and after almost five months they were able to discontinue the use of the apnea monitor as well as several of Memphys' medications.

Gabe and Maegan Runge are co-owners of Key Well Servicing with partners Ashley and Kelsey Gerle. In March of 2011, they were notified by Cenovus Energy that their service rig company would be receiving a safety and stewardship award as the result of over 2500 safety days. Along with that award came a $5000 donation to be made to a charity of their choice.

At a Cenovus Luncheon in April, two representatives from the Hospitals of Regina Foundation came to accept the donation on behalf of the NICU.

"It was at that time that they had asked us if we would be interested in being the poster family for the Z99 Radiothon this year," said Runge. "Of course we embraced the once in a lifetime opportunity to be first-hand involved with such an amazing event."

Z99 will broadcast live from the Cornwall Centre beginning on March 15 and will continue for 36 hours to help save babies' lives and raise funds for the NICU in the newly opened Rawlco Centre for Mother Baby Care at the Regina General Hospital.

The Regina radio station has been involved for 24 years creating what is now one of the best Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Canada, by helping purchase equipment critical in the care of sick babies.

"We have managed to change the look, the services and life expectancy in the NICU!" said Amber Morse, Promotional Director at Z99. The Radiothon's goal is to purchase much needed pieces of equipment so the Regina General Hospital can continue to house one of the best NICUs in Canada. "There are still many pieces of critical life-saving equipment needed to make it a state of the art and up-to-date facility."

Donations can be made in advance online at or by cheque directly to the station. In-person donations can also be made during the Z99 Radiothon on March 15 and 16.

For more information on the hospital facility and to view the official video about the Radiothon's poster baby, Memphys, visit the Hospitals of Regina Foundation website at

"Our outcome could have been horrendous had the NICU not been available to us," said Runge.

Memphys has blossomed since she has returned home. Having gained 20 lbs, she has mastered crawling, has started taking a few steps and most recently she has starting talking.

Memphys visits an Ophthalmologist and a Pediatrician on a quarterly basis, as well as a Developmental Assessment Clinic where she often sees a dietician, a Neonatologist, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

"These little babies endure more than what the average person goes through in a lifetime, " said Runge.

Having come through all that they have, the Runge family is grateful for the health of their daughter. Memphys is a true poster child and her story serves as a reminder that generosity can indeed make miracles happen.

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