In 2015, Andrea and Robert Cottrell-Rodriguez were anticipating the arrival of their daughter at end of the year. But Sylvia arrived after only 25 weeks, weighing less than 2 pounds. She has required 3 surgeries, 6 blood transfusions, a laser surgery for her eyes, and 147 days of fighting for her life in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU).
Sylvia and her family will walk and share their story on April at the Skylands March for Babies and again in the fall at Wallkill Regional High School for their annual Supernight event to benefit March of Dimes.
2018 March for Babies chairman Jason Bays will be speaking during opening ceremonies and has rallied a large team for the walk. Locally, March for Babies is sponsored by Mountain Creek Resorts and Franklin Sussex Auto Mall. He says, “I can’t think of a more important cause. When you March for Babies, you make a statement about the world you want to live in: one in which healthy moms and strong babies are a priority for us all.
“The number of babies born prematurely here in New Jersey and nationwide just not acceptable. March of Dimes is empowering families with programs, knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies.”
March of Dimes gives 4 million babies born each year the best possible start. Nearly half a million of them, like Sylvia, are born prematurely or with birth defects. Premature birth and its complications are the largest contributors to infant death in the U.S. and pregnancy-related death has more than doubled over the past 25 years. March of Dimes gives 4 million babies born each year the best possible start.
From advocacy to education to research, we’re working to level the playing field so that all moms and babies are healthy. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.
“Serving as the ambassador family is a way for us to show our gratitude for March of Dimes-funded programs that helped Sylvia,” Mrs. Cottrell-Rodriguez says. “We March for Babies because when communities work together, even the toughest problems can be solved.”