About Nico's Promise


When a child dies or faces a life-altering illness, the family becomes the patient. Through Nico’s Promise: A Journey of Hope and Healing, a dedicated bereavement program focusing on continuity of care from a family-centered perspective, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital strives to fortify these families, leading them to discover their inner strength and honor their children by living once again productive, meaningful and even joy-filled lives. The health of our communities depends on it.


The vision of Nico’s Promise: A Journey of Hope and Healing, is to create a safe, inclusive environment at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for all family members who suffer the loss of a child or whose child suffers from a life-altering illness. In doing so, Nico’s Promise seeks to serve as an industry benchmarking standard for bereavement services at children’s hospitals across the country.

Nico’s Promise Impact to Date

For the past five years, Nico’s Promise, a Journey of Hope and Healing has been serving families who have suffered the loss of a child at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. In the summer of 2013, Jacqueline Santana, MSW, MS, and Doctoral Candidate, was hired to lead and develop the Nico’s Promise program. Under her leadership families were able to attend countless group sessions and annual celebrations of life. Individualized counseling sessions began in January 2015.

In 2016, Nico’s Promise welcomed Tania Paredes, Ph.D., LCSW, Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and founder of two successful private practices specializing in grief and loss, to continue developing this essential program that serves families during a most difficult time. To date, Nico’s Promise: A Journey of Hope and Healing has provided over 450 individual counseling sessions while reaching out to nearly 200 eligible families. Monthly support groups for parents and grandparents continue, as well as numerous family counseling sessions.

By the summer of 2018, Nico’s Promise: A Journey of Hope and Healing had provided over 1300 one on one sessions with family members and a multitude of gathering sessions. Monthly support groups for parents and grandparents continue, as well as numerous family counseling sessions.

In 2019, Nico’s Promise not only will continue to provide individual and group counseling sessions but also seeks to increase referrals from local hospice organizations and offer support opportunities for families to gather away from the main Nicklaus Children’s Hospital campus.


The Future

As the hospital continues to be a beacon of hope for children in the region, more and more critical patients will seek treatment at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. However, as to be expected, unfortunately not all cases will end with a positive outcome and every family deserves support and care when facing such dire news.
Nicklaus Children’s believes that the care of the entire family is paramount to our mission to provide the very best family-centered care, and as such, is committed to supporting our families during their most vulnerable time: while facing life-altering medical news or the loss of a beloved child.
The services of Nico’s Promise are provided free of charge to all families in need of its services at Nicklaus Children’s, and philanthropic support is vital to the future of this essential program.
In the future, Nico's Promise and Nicklaus Children's hopes to extend this program to make it the standard for all healthcare facilities, encouraging the care of families after a lifealtering diagnosis and beyond the end of treatment of the patient.


To ensure that Nico’s Promise can continue to give all families a unique hand to hold during their most difficult moments, Nicklaus Children’s aims to create an endowment to provide support in perpetuity for this vital service.
With that goal in mind, Jorge and Alina Hernandez, and their daughter, Carolina Hernandez Exposito, co-founders of Nico's Promise, in conjunction with Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation, seek to raise $5M in endowment support. These gifts will bequeath Nico’s memory forever, and bring comfort to families who lose a child now and for many years to come.
Please consider supporting Nico’s Promise: A Journey of Hope and Healing with a leadership- level significant gift of $100,000 or more towards the Endowment for Nico’s Promise. Your generosity will continue to help children and families across our community and across the world to find hope and meaning in the loss of their child and give emotional support to families who face a life-altering diagnosis.

Letter from Nico's Mother

Nicolas Anthony Hernandez (Nico) blessed my life on September 7, 2011. He returned to Heaven on December 13, 2011, but his spirit and memory live forever in the hearts of all who met him as well as in the lives of the families touched by the program that bears his name: Nico’s Promise: A Journey of Hope and Healing. For two months, Nico and I were surrounded by doctors, nurses and staff at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital who not only offered us excellent medical attention but also embraced us with kindness, love and compassion.
In an effort to provide world-class care to all families facing the loss of a precious child, on September 7, 2012, my family and I partnered with Nicklaus Children's Hospital Foundation to establish Nico’s Promise: A Journey of Hope and Healing, a comprehensive multidisciplinary bereavement program. Eight years later, our generous community has donated over $900,000! This allows us to fund current program operations through 2019 as well as provide a solid foundation on which to build the Nico’s Promise Endowment. Reaching a full endowment will allow this essential program to exist in perpetuity and focus on providing a family-centered approach to those who need it the most.
Last year, at our 4th Annual Nico’s Promise Fashion Show, you helped us raise over $250,000 as we celebrated almost 500 guests and more than 170 children who graced our runway. Thank you for once again joining us in support of Nico’s Promise through which my son continues to touch the hearts of families in need of solace and hope. We remain eternally grateful and humbled!
May God bless you & your families,
Carolina Hernandez Exposito