Remarkable Women: March of Dimes, Salvation Army advocate Janet Pickel shares her passion with a purpose

Remarkable Women

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (WHTM) — abc27 is honoring Midstaters with our Remarkable Women project.

On Tuesday, March 30, we meet finalist Janet Pickel. She and her family live in Middletown, Dauphin County. Pickel has two causes she’s passionate about and a village that helps her make it happen.

Pickel’s 9-year-old son, Cade, is one of the reasons she is so passionate about the March of Dimes.

And her tiny angel, Jaina, is the other. Both of Pickel’s children were 16-weeks early. Cade and Jaina were born in Sept. 2011.

“Cade weighed a little over a pound and Jaina weighed a little under a pound and she lived two days,” Pickel said. “Cade spent 125 days in the NICU.”

That’s when Pickel experiences first-hand how donations made by others can make a difference

“If it hadn’t been for surfactant therapy for the lungs..that’s what saved Cade’s life and that was developed by March of Dimes research,” Pickel said, “so without the March of Dimes I wouldn’t have had either of my babies.”

Pickel wanted to give other parents the chance to bring their babies home. This is why, since 2012, her family has participated in the March of Dimes walk. She has also served on the local committee to help organize the event.

“What we do will help somebody have both their kids or all of their kids,” Pickel said.

Her kindness and giving doesn’t stop there.

Every Christmas, Pickel helps collect donations for the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program — making sure others in the community have the things they need — and does so with an open heart

“To me, I try to not judge and just say this person is going through something,” Pickel said. “What can I do to make it not so hard … because a lot of people made it not so hard for me.”

And Pickel will tell you she doesn’t do it alone.

“I have a group of friends and we are called the Estrogen Village,” Pickel said.

For more information about the finalists in abc27’s 2021 Remarkable Women Contest, click here.

And its members of that village that nominated Pickel as a 2021 Remarkable Woman.

“She has done a lot for the community and she has inspired others, I mean it takes a lot of effort to get as much done as she does,” said Lara Brenckle, who nominated Pickel for this year’s award.

And there’s a thought that keeps Pickel going: To be “the kind of person that I want my son to be and that I imagine my daughter would have been,” she said.

“All of us can do a little and it adds up,” Pickel said.

Be sure to watch Good Day Pa. on Thursday, April 1, as abc27 reveals the big winner.

And on April 9 at 7:30 p.m., all four of abc27’s finalists will be featured on a half-hour special honoring Remarkable Women here in the Midstate.

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