On Sunday, May 5, hundreds from Fairfield County will gather for March for Babies to benefit the March of Dimes. Leading the festivities will be 2013 Fairfield Ambassadors, Daniel and Karina Primavera of Ridgefield, who in 2005 experienced the premature birth of their triplets, Shivali, Avnish, and Keshavan. They will share their journey of the triplets’ premature birth, and thank walkers for their commitment to the March of Dimes mission to give all babies a healthy start.
Born 14 weeks too soon due to Karina developing preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy), the babies’ combined weight was just 4.5 lbs. Shivali did not survive due to complications from her premature birth, and the boys spent 14 and 19 weeks respectively in neonatal intensive care until they were able to come home.
“Our boys were asked to fight the kind of fight that no baby should be asked to - the fight to survive. We became way too familiar with terms such as CPAP, central line, NEC, O2 sat, desat, oscillating ventilator, IVH, TPN, trophic feed, and a host of other every day terms used in the NICU,” said Daniel. “We know the boys still face many challenges, and that they will meet them with determination, strength, resilience, and their beautiful smiles and infectious laughter that we can't imagine our lives without.”
As the family’s commitment grows, so too does the boys’ understanding. “The boys are still fairly young,” Karina explained. “But over the past year or so, they have begun to understand that their sister isn’t with us — that there’s a piece of our family that is missing and what that really means. I think that also helps in their understanding of why March of Dimes is so important to our family.”
“We have a story to tell and hope that from our experiences we can spread the importance of the work that the March of Dimes does. Our babies were born so early, and they were so tiny. They had an uphill battle, and, unfortunately, our daughter did not survive,” Karina continued.. “We’ve experienced the heartbreak of losing a baby. We also know what it’s like to have a baby battling for months in the NICU. Nothing can prepare you for the experience. It’s important for us to do whatever we can to help support the cause for babies to be born healthy – and, for those who are not, that they have the best chance at getting well and living healthy, happy lives.”
March for Babies participants can meet the family and hear their story at Jennings Beach in Fairfield on Sunday, May 5. Funds raised by March for Babies help support prenatal wellness programs, research grants, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) family support programs and advocacy efforts for stronger, healthier babies. Registration for March for Babies begins at 9:00 a.m. with the walk kicking off at 10:00 a.m. To register visit marchforbabies.org or marchofdimes.com/ct. Donations may be made online to the family’s March for Babies team, The Primavera Family.
Fairfield March for Babies is sponsored by Star 99.9, Lamar, and statewide sponsors NBC Connecticut and Comcast. March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Farmers Insurance Group, Macy’s, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Famous Footwear, Actavis, Mission Pharmacal, and United Airlines.
In 2013, the March of Dimes celebrates its 75th anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life. Early research led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines that all babies still receive. Other breakthroughs include new treatments for premature infants and children with birth defects. About 4 million babies are born each year in the United States, and all have benefitted from March of Dimes lifesaving research and education.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.