March of Dimes plays an important role in improving the health of mothers and babies, an issue that is near and dear to our hearts.
We're the Duarte Family: Andrew, Melissa, Rocco, Ike, and Victor. Two out of three of our babies (Rocco & Victor) were born premature after high risk pregnancies. We learned firsthand of March of Dimes' important role in creating positive change for moms and babies everywhere, especially those most at risk.
With preterm birth and maternal death rates continuing to rise, we're committed to raising funds so that every family gets the best possible start. We need your help! Please consider making a donation to March of Dimes. Together we’ll be part of a movement to make America a more equitable place and ensure that every mom and baby is healthy.
Here's a little more of our story.
Rocco came into the world early at 35 weeks because there was not enough amniotic fluid during pregnancy, resulting in a 5-week hospital stay prior to a c-section. After birth, Rocco faced challenges with respiratory distress and was on a C-pap machine. He was able to go home after spending ten days in the Saint Joseph’s NICU.
Entering the world at 1 lbs. 10 oz., Victor was born 15 weeks prematurely. Victor spent 189 days in the NICU at St. Joe's Hospital. He was strong throughout it all; from being on an oscillating ventilator, suffering from lung collapse, to numerous blood transfusions, Victor continued to fight. This was extremely difficult for us, but the sense of kindness and support from our community and the support of the fantastic team in the NICU was instrumental in bringing Victor home.
He continued fighting after his time in the NICU, requiring oxygen until the age of one and having back-to-back surgeries for hip dysplasia. Victor overcame many obstacles and certainly earned his name! He is now a healthy, thriving first grader.
These experiences taught us how important it is to support mothers throughout pregnancy and postpartum, especially with high-risk pregnancies and premature birth. We appreciated the March of Dimes’ NICU Family Support program at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Family Medicine Center. It provided us specialized guidance and information as well as excellent care when we needed it most.
We are honored to be the March of Dimes Ambassador Family for the Arizona Signature Chef Auction on Sunday November 13th, 2022. As advocates, we hope to raise awareness and support for other families with pregnancy complications and preterm birth. March of Dimes is integral to this work.
Thank you for making a donation and helping us on this important mission!
We're lucky to live in AZ with 3 healthy boys: Rocco (10), Ike (8), and Victor (7).