About the Program


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


Nico’s Promise: A Journey of Hope and Healing, provides ongoing support to parents, siblings, grandparents, and other family members who have suffered the loss of a loved one at Nicklaus Children’s. The services of Nico’s Promise are offered free of charge and provide the entire family the unique opportunity to celebrate the life of their lost child while also encouraging families to harness their inner strength to accept, grieve, and persevere in a healthy manner during this most vulnerable time. 


For the past six 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 of 2015.

In 2016, Nico’s Promise welcomed Tania Paredes, 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 in person, via phone and/or letter to nearly 200 eligible families. Monthly support groups for parents and grandparents continue, as well as numerous family counseling sessions.

This year, Nico’s Promise hopes to continue expanding annual celebrations of life as well as individual and group counseling sessions. This program 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 Nicklaus Children’s Hospital continues to move forward as a beacon of hope for children in the region, the hospital anticipates a more critical patient population. Nicklaus Children’s believes that the care of the entire family is paramount to our mission to provide the very best in family-centered care, and as such, is committed to supporting our families during their most vulnerable time: while facing the loss of a beloved child.

The services of Nico’s Promise are provided free of charge to all families who lose a child at Nicklaus Children’s, and philanthropic support is vital to the future of this important program.

The Funding

In order to ensure that Nicklaus Children’s can continue to offer the very best support to all families, Nicklaus Children’s seeks to create an endowment to ensure that the services provided by Nico’s Promise can continue to give all families a special hand to hold during their most difficult moments. In order to provide support in perpetuity for this vital service, Jorge and Alina Hernandez, in conjunction with Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation, seek to raise $1M in endowment support by December 31, 2018. These gifts will endow Nico’s memory forever, and bring support to families who lose a child at Nicklaus Children’s now and for many years to come.

Please consider supporting Nico’s Promise: A Journey of Hope and Healing with a leadership- level gift toward 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.

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 at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation that bears his name: Nico’s Promise: A Journey of Hope and Healing. For two months, Nico & 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 constant 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 Miami Children’s Hospital Health Foundation (now Nicklaus Children's Hospital Foundation) to establish Nico’s Promise: A Journey of Hope and Healing, a comprehensive multi-disciplinary bereavement program. Almost five years later, our generous community has donated over $500,000! This allows us to fund current program operations through 2017 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. 

Last year, at our 3rd Annual Nico’s Promise Fashion Show, you helped us raise over $110,000 as we celebrated almost 400 guests and more than 100 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. My family and I remain eternally grateful & humbled! 

May God bless you & your families, 

Carolina Hernandez Exposito