Meet Ismael Torres-Castrodad, our 2016 National Ambassador
- Ordinary families doing extraordinary things to help babies
- People sharing their story across the country to raise awareness
- Volunteers showing others why it is so important to get involved
We are proud to introduce the March of Dimes National Ambassador Ismael Torres-Castrodad.
The Torres-Castrodad family’s story shows just how serious the complications of a preterm birth are and how difficult it is to treat babies who are born late preterm; that is, between 34-36 weeks of pregnancy. The story of Ismael and his parents, Isamari and Ismael Sr., will resonate with many because more than 70 percent of preterm babies are born in this late preterm time frame. And, like many mothers, Isamari did everything she could to have a healthy pregnancy; she went to her doctor’s appointments, took folic acid, ate right and her baby still was born too soon.
Ismael was born about five weeks too soon, about 35 weeks of pregnancy.
After being hospitalized for having low amniotic fluid, Isamari turned to the March of Dimes for online information to educate herself about her pregnancy and preterm birth. The website gave her the knowledge she needed to confidently talk to her doctor about her pregnancy and the tests she might need. At her next appointment Isamari was very anxious about her fluid levels and asked to be re-checked. Her fluid was dangerously low again and the baby was born 48 hours later by emergency c-section.
Six days after Ismael was discharged, he developed jaundice, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus, a lung infection also called RSV, and pneumonia and had to be re-hospitalized.
When Isamari tells her story, she emphasizes that women must develop an open dialogue with their doctor and not to be afraid to ask questions and advocate for themselves.
She has made it her mission to learn all she could about preterm birth and has become a great volunteer for the March of Dimes, and often speaks out about how important it is for women to educate and empower themselves before they become pregnant. She recruited her company, Pueblo, Inc. as a local partner and together they have raised over $300,000 to support the March of Dimes mission. She also has been the 2012 Puerto Rico Chapter Board Vice Chair, 2013 March for Babies Chapter Board Chair, as well as the 2014 and 2015 Chapter Board Chair.
Today, Ismael is a happy, healthy 13-year-old who gets straight As, loves playing soccer and singing. He’s enjoys working as an assistant producer for parent’s TV shows. Most of all Ismael loves sharing his story and talking about the March of Dimes, and he does an amazing job doing so! We are thrilled to be working with Ismael and his wonderful family to spread awareness of our mission nationwide. Ismael and his family are featured in Good Housekeeping's January issue.