I've been raising money for March of Dimes for the last 25 years. It was an important relationship for the sorority that I belonged to, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.—we're a national service partner.
Eight years ago, my husband and I found out we were pregnant with triplets, which was incredible and exciting. My water broke at 20 weeks into our pregnancy, and we went to the hospital. For 10 days we hoped and prayed, but unfortunately our daughter Victoria was stillborn.
For 10 more days, we focused all of our positive energy on our two little boys that were still in the womb. I went into labor at 22 weeks and gave birth to our son, Ronald Jr. He was born alive, but his lungs weren't ready to breathe. We got to hold him and spend time with him before he passed away.
The next 10 days we focused all of our positive energy on our son David. I went into labor on Valentine's Day, and fortunately because we were close to 24 weeks, we were able to get surfactant therapy—a treatment that was a research breakthrough funded by March of Dimes—that would help David's lungs breathe. He was born on February 16th, 2012.
Today, David’s aware that he has an older brother and sister, Victoria and Ronald Jr. He talks about them quite a bit, but I'm not sure that he has the real context of what that means. He knows they didn’t survive. When people ask if he and his younger brother, who are the same height, are twins, he always tells them, “No, I'm a triplet.”
My personal experience was incredibly difficult because I was the one carrying the babies, but I can only imagine how much more difficult it was for my husband. Every time we lost a child he had to make arrangements with the funeral home while we tried to remain positive for the other babies. He was also the one who had to deal with telling the people we love, while shielding me from the pain and loss that each one of them was also experiencing.
My relationship with March of Dimes has gone from raising funds when a march is happening to being indebted to the organization that saved my son’s life. And I'm willing to do anything and absolutely everything necessary to ensure a future where no family has to endure what ours has.