Eastern Carolina Division Announces 2013 Signature Chefs Auction Ambassador Family
Raleigh, North Carolina, October 01, 2013
The Eastern Carolina Division of March of Dimes is proud to announce Gabrielle Duley, age 2 and her parents, Brian and Tamika Duley, as the Foundation’s 2013 Triangle Signature Chefs Auction Ambassadors.
Gabrielle, affectionately known as “Gabby” by family was born at 23 weeks gestation, weighing a terrifying 1 pound, 3 ounces. On what seemed like a normal Easter Sunday in 2011, Tamika went to church with her family and afterwards came home to enjoy her afternoon. “I got home and was feeling really tired but thought it was just a result of working at church earlier in the day,” stated Tamika. “Once I began cramping, I knew immediately that I needed to rest.” After a few hours of laying down, consulting with her midwife and attempting to hydrate, Tamika noticed she was bleeding. She was then rushed to the hospital by her husband, Brian.
Upon arriving at the hospital and being examined by medical professionals, Tamika and Brian were asked a question that would forever resonate with them, “The nurses asked me the question that no parents wants to hear, “ do u want us to save her,”” recounted Tamika. “It felt like I was in a Lifetime movie, my precious husband Brian answered for me with the loudest, most assured “YES” I had ever heard.”
Shortly after Brian answered that question, Gabby made her entrance into the world. “She was as small as a baby chick to me,” said Tamika. “Her mouth opened to make a sound but nothing came out and then she was whisked away by the nurses.” Tamika and Brian would see their baby more than 24 hours later while being treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). “I didn’t have that moment most moms have when they look at their baby for the first time and immediately fall in love, I was too afraid to fall for her because I didn’t know if I’d have to soon say good bye to her,” said Tamika.
Gabby spent more than 170 days in the NICU but today she is a remarkably healthy, happy little girl. “When I went to research the outcome of preemies born at Gabby’s age, 80% of what I read was negative,” stated Tamika. “Yet, serving as the Ambassador Family, I want to share our story in hopes that it will encourage other families of preemies.”
As Ambassadors, the Duley Family will speak on how the March of Dimes has benefited them and encourage others to join and support the cause. The 2013 Signature Chefs Auction, which is celebrating the March of Dimes’ 75th Anniversary, will take place November 17 at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, located in Durham, NC. More information is available at (919) 424-2156.In 2013, the March of Dimes celebrates its 75th Anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life. Early research led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines that all babies still receive. Other breakthroughs include new treatments for premature infants and children with birth defects. About 4 million babies are born each year in the United States, and all have benefited from March of Dimes lifesaving research and education.
Pictured: Gabby seen here in her Daddy's hands.
Gabby seen here during a Kangaroo session with her Mother, Tamika.
Pictured: Left to right, back row: Tamika, Gabby (2) and Brian
Front row: Miranda (5) and Kailyn (3).