West Chester, PA – April 8, 2014 – Jacqueline Fuller McKenna weighed only 5 lbs., 12 oz. when she was born six weeks early in February 2013. She stopped breathing when she was born, her digestive tract was undeveloped and she spent 24 days in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) at Paoli Hospital, learning to eat, breathe, swallow, and digest nourishment.
Now a thriving one-year-old, Jackie has been named the March of Dimes 2014 Chester County Ambassador, and her parents, Stacey Fuller and Patrick McKenna, are sharing their story and encouraging people to participate in the March of Dimes March for Babies in West Chester on Sunday, April 27 in Marshall Square Park at 9:30am.
Stacey and Patrick, both partners with West Chester-based law firm Gawthrop Greenwood, PC, were thrilled about becoming parents together and expanding their new blended family. Then Jackie was born prematurely. “I can’t tell you how difficult it was, seeing our baby girl lying in the NICU, fighting for life,” says Stacey. “All our hopes and dreams for her hung in the balance.”
“We were so scared and anxious with each moment that passed,” adds Patrick, “but thanks to the care that Jackie received, and the support of the March of Dimes for research and treatment, now we know the relief and joy parents feel when their child survives and becomes healthy enough to leave the NICU and go home.”
Gawthrop Greenwood is a local corporate sponsor of the March for Babies, and Jackie’s family has formed “Team Jackie West Chester” to raise money and gather walkers for the day. The money raised supports community programs that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies, and funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten babies’ lives. Team Jackie is currently one of the top fundraising teams for the Chester County event, having raised more than $2000 already; the March for Babies Chester County has an overall goal of $142,500.
As the March of Dimes signature event fundraiser, March for Babies supports the March of Dimes mission to improve the health of babies. More than 7 million people participate as walkers, volunteers and sponsors in more than 900 communities nationwide. Each year, individual walkers along with family, corporate, and school teams enjoy walking with a shared purpose to support the March of Dimes. In 2013 more than 800 walkers raised more than $130,000 in the Chester County March for Babies. Across Pennsylvania, more than 25,000 people walked at 34 March for Babies events and raised more than $5 million.
Photo caption: Patrick McKenna and Stacey Fuller with their daughter Jackie the day she was released from the hospital.
Editors Note: Interviews available
Contact: Ellen Langas, NouSoma Communications, Inc.
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