Heather McCandless had an unexpected and traumatic experience when her daughter, Jocelyn, was born 9 weeks early, with a level 3 head bleed, and was in immediate need of a team to stabilize her vitals. Throughout their 10 weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Heather and her family came into contact compassion and support from the caregivers that always went the extra mile. Jocelyn was anticipated to have lifelong complications with walking, talking and developing. Thanks to the NICU team, Jocelyn has no such complications today!
Due to her NICU experience, Heather and her husband Jamie are forever thankful to the experts who knew immediately how to help their daughter while keeping the nervous new parent as calm and educated as possible.
Knowing that donor support made programs and resources available to NICU families, Heather decided to join the AdventHealth for Children Foundation Board in 2016.
Born and raised in Seminole County, Heather attended the University of Central Florida. She is the Owner/Founder of DACG, Inc., a local minority/woman owned construction company. “As a member of this community since birth, the monumental impact the hospital and its programs continue to have is without compare. As someone who has experienced the NICU personally, as well as other various pediatric emergency incidents, the programs and genuine love for the community that the hospital exudes is second to none.”
Heather serves on other boards and organizations across our community, such as; She Is More Than, 100 Plus Women Seminole County and Guardians Ad Litem Program of Seminole County. She also Co-Chairs Champions for Children, our very own young professional volunteer group.
Heather is the founder of a charitable golf tournament that takes place each year over Father’s Day weekend. The proceeds from the event benefit support programs in our NICU. Furthermore, DACG, Inc. employees donate toys and participate in various fundraisers throughout the year.
“I cannot say enough good things about my experience with AdventHealth. The thought that I am somehow impacting families lives by my support is unconceivable. Having been in their position years ago, I can personally attest to the positive impact that volunteers committed to the success of the hospital and ancillary programs have on a family member while caring for their child in the hospital.”
AdventHealth Foundation Central Florida is truly blessed to have a passionate individual such as Heather, who constantly devotes her time to making our community a better place!