The Warren County March of Dimes is preparing for its annual March for Babies event to be held at Betts Park on April 28 and started things off with a 'kick-off' luncheon at the Holiday Inn on Thursday.
The event included the introduction of this year's Warren County March of Dimes ambassador family: Stefanie Williams and her daughter Isabella, who was born 16 weeks premature.
Williams finds the whole event to be surreal.
Times Observer photo by Brian Collins
Stefanie Williams (left) and her daughter Isabella are this year’s ambassador family for the March for Babies, as presented by the March of Dimes.
A participant in the event in 2009 and 2010 for the Eisenhower Key Club, Stefanie is now a part of the event in a new role.
"I never thought I'd be one of those people who had a premature baby," said Williams. "Now that things have calmed down and she (Isabella) is not at risk for everything anymore, it's a relief."
Williams said that the chances of her baby surviving were only between five and ten percent and at the time of birth weighed less than two pounds.
Isabella, despite being born after only 24 weeks in the womb, has developed into a 'chatty' and active young girl. Wire and oxygen free since Dec. 26 2012, she could be heard 'talking' through the entire luncheon.
Community Director Brenda Zock is very excited for the event and has a great deal of passion for it since she is the mother of a premature baby herself.
"I'm just very passionate about the March of Dimes because we've been directly affected," said Zock. "I want to help out families so they don't have to go through that. Plus, who doesn't love babies?"
"Every little bit helps," urged Williams, "even if it's a dollar, it helps."
To mothers going through what she and Zock both have, Williams added, "I know it's rough right now, but I promise one day you'll look back and it'll be gone already. This has been the longest and fastest year of my life."
To sign-up a team or make a donation, visit marchofdimes.com or contact Zock at 723-9206 for more information.