Posts Tagged ‘National Ambassador’

Our National Ambassador meets Pres. Obama at the White House – visit highlights Zika

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

Pres Obama w Nat'l Ambassador IsmaelMarch of Dimes National Ambassador Ismael Torres-Castrodad and his mother Isamari Castrodad, along with Chief Medical Officer Dr. Edward McCabe and Kelly Cook, Chief Marketing Officer of Kmart and mom of preemie triplets, met President Obama in the Oval Office.

The June 30th meeting with the President was warm and welcoming. The discussion highlight was the March of Dimes Zika advocacy and education efforts. The president emphasized how important this issue was to him and that he intends to do his utmost to ensure adequate resources are provided to combat Zika. President Obama discussed with Ismael and his mother the cases of Zika among their friends and acquaintances in Puerto Rico.

The President’s obvious passion and commitment on this issue made such an impression on Kelly Cook that she pledged on the spot to give $250,000 from Kmart to March of Dimes towards our Zika prevention efforts. Thank you Kelly and Kmart!!

After the visit, Ismael, his mother, and Kelly spoke to a reporter from the Washington Post, which resulted in this article on their visit.

The March of Dimes is petitioning lawmakers to fund Zika prevention efforts. You can sign our petition to tell your legislators to #ZAPzika now by committing resources to protect our families from Zika.

Learn about the Zika virus and how ONE mosquito bite may cause devastating birth defects.

Send your Zika questions to AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Together, we can #ZAPZika.

 

 

Our new national ambassador

Monday, January 27th, 2014

2014-ambassador-aidan

The March of Dimes is excited to introduce our 2014 National Ambassador, six year old Aidan Lamothe. Born 12 weeks early, Aidan weighed just 3 lbs and spent 7 weeks in a NICU receiving treatments for breathing problems, his low birthweight, and other prematurity related issues.

Each year on his birthday, Aidan visits the NICU and says “thank you” to the doctors and nurses. Even as a young child, he understood how serious it is to be born prematurely and decided he wanted to volunteer to tell his story to help others. As our National Ambassador, he will travel with his parents to help raise funds and awareness for premature birth.

Welcome Aidan!

Our ambassador

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Meet our 2013 National Ambassador, Nina Centofanti!

Meet Nina – our 2013 National Ambassador

Monday, January 7th, 2013

nina-centofanti1Chris and Vince Centofanti thought they knew all about preterm birth. She was a neonatal nurse-practitioner caring for critically ill babies, and he worked for GE Healthcare’s Maternal-Infant Care division, providing specialized medical equipment to hospitals. But then their own baby, Nina, was born nine weeks early, weighing less than three pounds.  She suffered from respiratory distress and spent her first five weeks fighting for life in a newborn intensive care unit (NICU).

“I can’t tell you how difficult it was, seeing our own little girl lying in the NICU, fighting for life. All our hopes and dreams for her hung in the balance,” says Chris Centofanti.  “As a nurse-practitioner I’ve seen many other parents in this situation, and now I know exactly how they feel.” “I never expected that my own daughter would have to be cared for in a NICU with the equipment I had provided to the hospital,” says Vince Centofanti.

While pregnant with Nina, Chris felt unwell at 31 weeks and went to the hospital. She was diagnosed with HELLP Syndrome, a form of high blood pressure with elevated liver enzymes and a low blood platelet count. It is a rare, but potentially life-threatening illness that typically occurs late in pregnancy. The only treatment is to deliver the baby as soon as possible. For the next 48 hours, Chris was treated with steroids to help develop baby Nina’s lungs before birth. At birth, Nina was immediately transferred to the NICU, where she spent the next five weeks.

In addition to Nina, the Centofantis have an older son Nick, and a second daughter, Mia, who was born at 35 weeks of pregnancy, thanks in part to weekly progesterone treatments which reduced the risk of Chris going into premature labor. “Even though things didn’t go as planned, we’ve been blessed with three healthy children, thanks in large part to the work of the March of Dimes.  Just a few years ago, the outcome might be been very different,” says Chris.  She adds, “Thanks to the care that Nina received, and the support of the March of Dimes for research and treatment, now we also know the relief and joy parents feel when their child survives and becomes healthy enough to leave the NICU and go home.”

Today Nina Centofanti has grown into an active 7-year-old who loves to dance, climb trees and turn handsprings. She has been named the March of Dimes 2013 National Ambassador. As ambassador, Nina and her family will travel the United States visiting public officials and corporate sponsors, and encouraging people to participate in the March of Dimes’ largest fundraiser, March for Babies. The money raised supports community programs that help moms have healthy, full term pregnancies, and funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten babies’ lives.

“Serving as the National Ambassador family is a way for us to show our appreciation for our children’s good health, and serve as advocates for lifesaving March of Dimes programs,” says Vince.  “The March of Dimes has provided 75 years of support for research, treatments, educational and prenatal care programs that has saved lives, reduced the suffering, and improved the quality of life for countless children and the parents who love them. My daughter Nina is one of their success stories; a perfect example of what March of Dimes efforts have accomplished.”

2012 National Ambassador, Kieran Wittstruck

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Born at 31 weeks, weighing just 3lbs 1 oz, Kieran Wittstruck spent the first month of his life in a newborn intensive care unit. Now 5 years old, Kieran still flips expectations on their head. Outside his home near Seattle, he likes to ride his bike and swim. He also is a budding mechanical engineer and is always working on his next great invention. And if that wasn’t enough, he even runs his own cat spy agency: MEOWS!

Katelyn’s ambassador story

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Katelyn, our 2009 National Ambassador, was brought into this world so tiny and early. She weighed less than 1 pound. Here is her remarkable story.

2009 National Ambassador Dad

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Michael and Katelyn HallHi, I’m Michael Hall, father of the 2009 March of Dimes National Ambassador Katelyn Hall.  Being the father of a micro preemie is very difficult. Katelyn was brought into this world so tiny and early. She weighed less than 1 pound. Our family had many long nights in the hospital and often wondered if this small package had enough strength to fight through the infections that were thrown to her so early in life.  We spent these long nights wondering what we could do to help our child with no final answer. Our answer did come when we found out that because of life-saving research funded by the March of Dimes, Katelyn survived.  Katelyn is now 5 years old and inspires me and my wife Ashley every day. Katelyn is the absolute joy of our lives. Every day she improves and always has a smile on her face. This is my 5th Father’s Day with Katelyn, and I feel blessed.  She was only given a 5% chance to survive and she defied all the odds.  Every day is Father’s Day to me based on her very tough start in life.  I can not thank the March of Dimes and all of the supporters enough for what they did and what they are doing to save babies.  Please keep up the hard work even during these hard times so that every baby can be born healthy. The March of Dimes offers information and support especially for dads. You can read all about it in the Just for Dads section of their website. Dads can also blog about their experiences and connect with other dads on Share Your Story. Happy Father’s Day!