North Branford Family Named March of Dimes New Haven Ambassadors
Leigh-Anne Lefurge, March of Dimes, (860) 815-9353, firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbarotta family to speak at March for Babies in New Haven on Sunday, April 27New Haven, CT, March 06, 2014
On Sunday, April 27, hundreds from the Greater New Haven area will gather for March for Babies at Lighthouse Point Park to benefit the March of Dimes. Leading the festivities will be the event’s 2014 Ambassadors, Nicole Barbarotta and her 10-year old son, Tate. They will share the story of his premature birth, his incredible story of survival, and thank walkers for their commitment to the March of Dimes mission to give all babies a healthy start.
Nicole was due with Tate on April 11, 2004, but unexpectedly went into premature labor on New Year’s Day, nearly 14 weeks too soon. Tate was born weighing just 1 pound 15.5 ounces. Like many babies born very early, Tate’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.
Tate also suffered from numerous complications due to his early arrival, including retinopathy of prematurity, a disease of the eye that can affect babies born prematurely, respiratory failure, and a collapsed lung. He also suffered from necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a gastrointestinal disease that mostly affects premature infants. NEC involves infection and inflammation that causes destruction of the bowel or part of the bowel.
He ultimately spent 132 days in the neonatal intensive care unit at Yale-New Haven Hospital before coming home. As an infant he endured multiple hospitalizations for respiratory infections and has had numerous abdominal surgeries due to his NEC.
“We do not know what caused his early birth. Leaving your child every day and not knowing if they may live or die is an absolute horrible feeling,” said Nicole. “It is so important to find out why preterm labor occurs. Funding research is key. Without surfactant, the treatment that helped strengthen his lungs, Tate might not be here.”
Today Tate is an active elementary school student who loves sports, riding his bike, spending time with friends and family and playing guitars and drums. “He is the most thoughtful, caring boy,” said Nicole. “He wants to give back and even organized a fundraiser at his school this year to help reach his $5,000 goal for the March of Dimes.”
“This experience was the scariest time in my life and it’s hard to even put the emotions into words,” continued Nicole. “When we found the March of Dimes, we made a commitment to them to help, so that no other family has to go through what we did.”
March for Babies participants can meet the Barbarotta’s and hear their story at March for Babies at Lighthouse Point Park 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/newhaven or marchofdimes.org/ct.
New Haven March for Babies is sponsored locally by Clear Channel Radio, Connecticut Parent Magazine, Lamar Outdoor, 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.org or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.