Mike and Nina Woodbury; along with their daughter Karys; have been named Ambassadors for the March of Dimes Portland Market. Karys was born three months too soon, weighing only two pounds. Her story of premature birth has a happy ending, and the family is sharing it to raise awareness for what is the number one killer of babies. They want to promote a story of hope and also stress the need for more research to find the causes and solutions for early deliveries like theirs.
More than three months before her daughter was due, Nina's water broke. At only 27 weeks gestation, on Mother's Day, Karys was born. For the next 73 days while Karys was in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Mike and Nina were at her side in the hospital from morning until night every day.
"The foundation we have as a family, the love we share, the strength we have together, we poured it all into Karys. And we made it through," said Mike and Nina. "We understand how lucky we are, how fragile life is, and how truly amazing and wonderful Karys has become."
Now nearly three years old, Karys is happy and healthy. She can spell her name, knows the alphabet in sign language and loves to sing the ABC song.
Did you know ...
In an average week in Oregon, 876 babies are born and 67 (7.7%) of them are preterm. Nationally, 9.6% of babies are born too soon.
More than 380,000 babies were born too soon in 2014. Premature birth is the leading cause of death for newborns, and a major cause of childhood disabilities.
About March of Dimes March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org. Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at marchforbabies.org.