Maddie (Donaghy) Francis
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Early Birds blog

Published December 2019

Meet NICU Cheer founder Maddie Francis and her bub Ashton



6 December, 2019

Here at Earlybirds we have the wonderful opportunity to meet and work with so many parents, families and friends of premature and small babies. This month, we’d love to introduce you to NICU Cheer, the brainchild of Maddie Francis – following the premature birth of her son Ashton in 2016.

NICU Cheer is all about brightening the days of parents and families of premature/sick babies who find themselves in the NICU on Christmas Day, and to let them know they’re not alone on this journey.

All the gift bags given to the families have product donated by businesses and people, and make such a fantastic difference during this time of year.


While Maddie used to be a lawyer, following Ashton’s birth she gave up work to look after him and take him to specialist and hospital appointments, and started up the charity to help bring cheer through the festive season. 

Maddie and her husband Aaron have two kids. Lillian is their eldest and was born full term in 2014, with Ashton born two years later at 30 weeks. Lily will be heading off to school next year and Ashton is now three years old. He is such a happy and mischievous little boy, despite some complications resulting from his premature birth.

In future NICU Cheer would like to bring more cheer, more often. Including deliveries on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, while also branching out to more hospitals in more states/territories.

To donate products to NICU Cheer please visit their website

For the 2019 NICU Cheer gift bags, we (Earlybirds) have donated 150 garments to help spread joy this Christmas.



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