The birth of a baby is one of the most exciting life experiences and most deliveries are happy occasions. Unfortunately, far too many babies are born with serious, life-threatening issues and one in 10 newborns will die as a result of a birth defect or prematurity. The March of Dimes is working to change that statistic. Through research, advocacy and education, the organization seeks to give every baby a fighting chance.
Dr. Stacy Fairbanks and husband, Owen Brown, along with their 2½ year old daughter Poppy, will represent the March of Dimes at March for Babies on April 22, 2017 at City Park. Ambassador families all share a medical and emotional connection to the March of Dimes mission and serve as the "face" of the organization at fundraising events. Stacy is a physician at University of Colorado Hospital and Owen is a paramedic and full-time student studying public health.
Stacy's pregnancy had been progressing normally for 32 weeks. At 33 weeks she suddenly found herself in the hospital, diagnosed with severe preeclampsia that quickly developed into HELLP syndrome. HELLP is an acronym for: H-hemolysis, the breakdown of red blood cells; EL--elevated liver enzymes; and LP--low platelet count. HELLP syndrome is rare but serious and occurs in about 1 to 2 of 1,000 pregnancies.
Due to the fast progression of the disease, Stacy received steroids to help develop the baby's lungs and labor was induced. Owen and Stacy's daughter, Poppy, was born at 34 weeks gestation. The baby had clearly been growth restricted and weighed just 3 pounds, 9 ounces at birth. The family spent the next 30 days riding the emotional roller coaster of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Today, Poppy is a small, but mighty toddler with a large vocabulary, love of books and a zest for life. The family enjoys being outdoors, reading, traveling and is looking forward to teaching Poppy how to ski.
Visit marchforbabies.org to join the Brown family at the Denver March for Babies on April 22, 2017 or to learn more about three other walks in the area (Boulder, Greeley, Fort Collins) on April 29. For more information please call (303) 305-1224.