Q&A: Allison Armstrong, Organizer of Sprint for the Prints

Allison Armstrong organized Sprint for the Prints, a 5K fund-raiser for the University of Tennessee College of Nursing Student Nurses’ Association Precious Prints Project, which provides a fingerprint silver charm to families who lose a child at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. The race starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 at UT’s Circle Park.

What’s the goal with the prints?

Our purpose is to provide a tangible remembrance of the life of a child. We feel that this print is so special because the child actually touches the clay that gets turned into the print so the family has this keepsake that they can wear or carry around forever.

How far along are you with your nursing studies?

I’m a senior. Graduation is in May!

Have you done any rotations that have brought you into contact with families whose children have lost their lives?

I have not personally been in contact with a family who has lost a child. I do work as a patient care assistant in the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s and have had rotations in other areas where the loss of a child could happen, but I have fortunately only seen cases of survival so far in my nursing career.

Whose idea was it for the association to fund the Precious Prints?

Lynne Miller. She is the head faculty member at the College of Nursing for the project. The project is a partnership with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. SNA buys the kits to make the prints at a reduced cost from a local company, Precious Metal Prints®. SNA supplies these kits to the neonatal and pediatric intensive care, ER, and oncology units at ETCH at no cost to the family or the hospital to go with their bereavement boxes.

Is it difficult to attract attention for a cause that people know will make them sad?

So far, everyone that we have told about the project has only had positive things to say and seem to think the project is a good thing for these families.

Will there be a competitive aspect to the race?

It will be professionally timed, and we will have prizes for those who win their age division.

Are there any events for slugs to enter?

Walking is 100 percent allowed!

Is anyone interesting signed up?

The dean of the College of Nursing was one of the first people to sign up. She has been extremely supportive of the project and this race, so it was really cool to see her be one of the first!

Are you going to excel in this race?

I really like running for the exercise and to stay healthy, but I am not a competitive runner. I am going to excel at directing people on how to check in and sign up if they have not yet done so!

Have you talked any unlikely folks into signing up?

Not really; I’ve begged a few people, but we have 130 people signed up so far, which completely exceeded my expectations. I’m just happy that people want to help support the project.

Registration is available up to the start of the race. For more information about it or donating, visit the UT College of Nursing’s Facebook page.

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