Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Using passion for music to help newborns

Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Using passion for music to help newborns

PITTSBURGH — A high schooler is taking her passion for music and giving back to a program that helps babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU.

Nora Navid loves playing and sharing her music. Over the last 10 years, the senior at Shadyside Academy has seen the impact her music has had on people at weddings, funerals and long-term care homes where she’s played.

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She’s earned and had the discipline to save $3,855, and she planned to use it to finance her college education.

That’s until she saw our “Proud to be from Pittsburgh” story in July about the Liam Finnigan Music Program at UPMC Magee Women’s Hospital.

“I’m incredibly grateful to all the people who wanted to pay me and wanted to recognize the importance of the music that I played because that enabled me to give to the Liam Finnigan Music Program,” said Navid, who donated all $3,855 that she saved to the program.

“I think the donation in itself is so amazing and generous,” said Melanie Finnigan, founder of the program. “I think the fact that it’s coming from a 17-year-old just makes it astonishing.”

Liam’s parents, Chris and Melanie Finnigan, started the Liam Finnigan Music program as a way to honor him and his fight in the NICU that he sadly didn’t win.

But they’ve helped countless babies by providing soothers to the NICU who can play music or voice recordings from those unable to visit due to the pandemic. It’s thanks to donations like the one from Navid.

“I can’t put into words how much we appreciate, how much it has touched our hearts,” Melanie Finnigan said.

“I accumulated this money making music. And this money would help provide music for the babies in the NICU. So it felt like full circle and it just felt right, like the right thing to do,” Navid said.

Since we first featured the Liam Finnigan Music Program in July, it has raised enough money to buy 400 soothers for babies in the Magee NICU.

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