March of Dimes in Suffolk

Published 8:23 pm Saturday, April 11, 2009

For Isaac and Crystal Baker, prepping for their new addition to the family was overwhelming from the start.

With a 1-year-old already at home, the Bakers found out they were expecting triplets.

Crystal was confined to bed rest, and routinely had trips to the hospital throughout her pregnancy.

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And, as is the case with most multiple births, the Bakers’ baby girls were born more than two months early.

Angel, Miracle and LaPrecious Baker were born weighing in at 3 pounds and 7 ounces, 3 pounds and 6 ounces and 2 pounds and 14 ounces respectively.

“It was so scary because they were really small,” Crystal said. “There were a lot of concerns. It was hard not knowing if they were going to make it. You never knew if they would make it.”

Thankfully for the Baker family, the girls did make it.

This September the triplets will turn 2 years old, and in celebration of their health and wellbeing, the Baker family has signed on as one of the ambassador families for the 2009 March of Dimes.

“If you haven’t been through a premature pregnancy or had a premature baby, then a lot of people wouldn’t know what it feels like to work with the March of Dimes,” Crystal Baker said. “It’s a good program and it’s a good thing that can help a lot of people. There were a lot of babies smaller than our babies, and they gave us people to talk to. It’s a good thing.”

This year, the Suffolk March of Dimes is having its annual March for Babies walk on April 23 at 12:30 p.m. beginning at Constant’s Wharf.

Participants will be taking part in a three and half mile walk in order to raise funds for the March of Dimes.

The March of Dimes was actually founded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1938, the president, who was wheelchair-bound from his personal fight with polio, was watching as the disease was afflicting the American public – specifically the youth of the country, according to the March of Dimes Web site.

He set up the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Roosevelt began a national campaign to unite and fight the polio epidemic. This foundation raised funds to research cures, and connected volunteers to families suffering from the effects of the disease. Within 20 years of setting up that foundation, Jonas Salk had created the polio vaccine, which effectively ended the disease.

In 1958, the foundation switched gears. It began funding cutting edge research and innovative programs to save babies from birth defects, premature birth and low birth weight.

By 1970, the first WalkAmerica event, similar to the one to be held in Suffolk on April 23, was held to raise funds for such research and programming.

Today, these events have raised more than $1.7 billion to help the more than 400,000 babies born premature each year – babies just like Angel, Miracle and LaPrecious, who are now flourishing as toddlers.

“Everybody’s got their own personality, they’ve got their own different personalities, all three of them,” Crystal Baker said. “They’re a lot of fun.”