(WJHL)- Every Tuesday in the month of March we will highlight outstanding and remarkable women in the Tri-Cities region.
This week, our focus is on Allison Lancaster, a mother who used her life experiences to help other parents in need.
Allison said the journey started in 2015 when her son Levi was born. It was a moment that would change her life forever.
She said Levi had to spend two weeks in the NICU.
“The pregnancy towards the end was a little rough, and he was an emergency C-section…then he developed pneumonia,” she said.
She remembered the experience as once that made her feel isolated as a mom.
“You kind of hear these other moms down the hallway and they’re taking their babies home, and you’re walking down the hall to see your baby hooked up to oxygen and monitors and not really knowing is he going to make it or not,” she said.
After Levi came home Allison and her husband decided Allison would stay home with him.
She remembered, “Throughout my whole pregnancy, my plan had been to go back to work. And once we brought him home, I can remember sitting there one day in February of 2016 going, I just don’t know how I’m going to leave him…we just said, we’ll figure it out, God will provide, we’ll do what we need to do.”
Allison said their family would soon go through another hardship after her husband lost his job.
“When I started in 2015, my husband was making $9 an hour, and he lost his job two weeks later. So, we were pretty broke, and didn’t know what to do,” she said.
It was during that time Allison began to look for articles and resources for NICU babies as a source of comfort but wasn’t having much luck.
She started writing a block to talk about her experience being a NICU parent.
“Writing has always been a passion of mine,” she said. “And I thought, well, I’ll just start this. It’s cheaper than therapy!”
That is when the magic happened!
Allison’s blog was picked up by the Huffington Post, and she was asked to write articles for different sites for parents. She was paid to write and was still able to stay at home.
“And from there I had other bloggers reach out to me, and they said, ‘you’re really doing awesome things, how can you help us?’ and that’s where kind of the service piece of my business started,” she explained.
Allison’s business has now grown to the point where her husband now works with her along with five other employees. She now has clients all over the world.
“For the first year, I tried to do things on my own, and I learned very quickly you can’t,” she laughed.
Through this growth, the Lancaster’s had a daughter, Rebecca.
Rebecca was born with a hole in her lung, and they became NICU parents again.
“But that just really kind of reiterated for me that you can’t plan it, you don’t know what’s going to happen, you don’t know how it’s going to pan out. But, just having somebody there, or reading an article or something like that, or a gift bag from a parent who’s been there, it’s something like ‘I wish I really had that in this moment,” she said.
Allison used her contacts from companies with which she worked as a syndicated writer, she put together gift bags for NICU families.
She said, “So I knew something needed to be done to help those parents and just let them know ‘I can’t fix it, I can’t make it better, but I’ve been there and it does, it gets better and there’s somebody that’s been through it with you.'”
As Allison’s business continues to grow, her love for helping others grows, as well. And, it all started with a leap of faith.
“God has guided me on this path, and I trust Him to continue to allow us to help others, but also to continue to do this,” she said.