Manchester Family Named March of Dimes Greater Hartford Ambassadors
Leigh-Anne Lefurge, March of Dimes, (860) 815-9353, firstname.lastname@example.org
Repoli family to speak at March for Babies in East Hartford on Sunday, April 27Manchester, CT, February 11, 2014
On Sunday, April 27, thousands from the Greater Hartford area will gather for March for Babies at Rentschler Field to benefit the March of Dimes. Leading the festivities will be the event’s 2014 Ambassadors, Kevin and Jessica Repoli of Manchester, along with their two-year old son Kaden. They will share Kaden’s incredible story of survival, and thank walkers for their commitment to the March of Dimes mission to give all babies a healthy start.
In May 2011, Jessica was experiencing a healthy pregnancy and was still almost four months from her due date. Unexpectedly she went into premature labor and Kaden was born weighing just 1 pound 6 ounces. Like many babies born too soon, Kaden’s underdeveloped lungs were one of his biggest health complications. To help mature his tiny lungs quickly, he received surfactant, a therapy developed with help from March of Dimes grantees.
Kaden also suffered from retinopathy of prematurity, a disease of the eye that can affect babies born prematurely, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a form of chronic lung disease. He ultimately spent 124 days in three neonatal intensive care units at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital and UConn Health Center before coming home.
“We still do not know what caused his early birth. For at least 40 percent of women who experience it, that is the case,” said Jessica. “That is why we believe in the work of the March of Dimes. Not only are they researching the causes and preventions of prematurity, but we know that without past research Kaden might not be here.”
Today Kaden is doing well, an active two-year old who loves to be outside, coloring and read books. Two weeks after March for Babies, the family will celebrate his third birthday.
“Kaden’s birth and NICU stay was the most scary, trying time in our lives,” said Jessica. “It is our hope that by raising awareness about prematurity and raising funds through events like March for Babies, one day no family will have to go through what we did.”
March for Babies participants can meet the Repoli’s and hear their story at March for Babies at Rentschler Field on Sunday, April 27. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. with the walk kicking off at 10:00 a.m. To register visit marchforbabies.org/event/greaterhartford or marchofdimes.com/ct.
Greater Hartford March for Babies is sponsored locally by Clear Channel Radio, Connecticut Parent Magazine, Lamar Outdoor, kidtivity.com, and is supported by statewide sponsors, NBC Connecticut and Comcast. March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Macy’s, Famous Footwear, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Mission Pharmacal, and United Airlines.
For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at marchforbabies.org. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.