WHY WE WALK
Every April, thousands of Palm Beach area families gather together, decked out in purple and ready to jog, walk and stroll through the streets. This year, Matt and Melissa Hoffman and their twins Sydney and Dylan will be in the crowds. For the Hoffman family, this April will be a special one as they walk as the Ambassador Family for the March of Dimes Palm Beach County March for Babies event on Saturday, April 27. They’re walking to raise money and awareness for premature birth and to show their support for other families with babies born far too soon, just like Sydney and Dylan. This is why they walk (as told by Melissa):
When we found out we were expecting twins, there were complications from the very beginning. Ultimately, I was placed on bed rest at twenty-two weeks, and the risks of premature birth were outlined for us. This was an extremely scary time. Five weeks later, my water broke, and doctors tried to hold off delivery as best they could. Unfortunately, the babies went into distress my first night in the hospital, and I had an emergency C-section. When I woke up from the anesthesia, I was told I’d delivered a twin boy and girl and that both were in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Our daughter Sydney was born at 2 lbs., 11 oz. Because of her premature birth, she suffered from minor kidney issues, feeding issues, jaundice and premature retinas, but she was breathing on her own. Dylan was born at 3 lbs., 9 oz. Even though he was a little bigger than his sister, he had more severe issues and immediately needed a blood transfusion. He also suffered from a brain hemorrhage and holes in his underdeveloped lungs.
We were able to hold Sydney at first, but Dylan was connected to oxygen and on a ventilator. We couldn’t hold him for over a week. Throughout the NICU journey, we had the amazing support of our parents and friends who came with me every day to visit the babies at the hospital. Sydney and Dylan continued to grow and get stronger every day in the NICU. Today, they are thriving juniors in high school! They have worked so hard and come so far. We are grateful for all the care and support we received during our difficult journey, and that’s why supporting March of Dimes is so important to us. Our children would not be here without them.
March of Dimes is a champion for families, fighting for the health of moms and babies in communities like Palm Beach and across the country. We believe that every baby deserves the best possible start. Unfortunately, not all babies get one. Premature birth is the largest contributor to infant death in the United States and globally. In Florida, one in 10 babies is born prematurely each year.
The Hoffman family is serving as this year’s Palm Beach County March for Babies Ambassador Family to raise important funds and awareness to support the March of Dimes mission for healthy moms and strong babies. March for Babies is a day for everyone. Together, we hope for the day when all moms and babies are healthy. We remember those babies we lost and honor them with special tributes throughout the day. We celebrate with fun activities for the whole family and ours, including NICU graduates, babies in your community and across the country.
The March for Babies community bands together to fight for the health of all moms and babies. When you March for Babies, you make a statement about the world you want to live in—one in which healthy moms and strong babies are a priority for us all. And when a society supports every family, the future is brighter for us all. Join us in the fight for the health of all moms and babies.
Here’s how you can help!
MARCH WITH US: Participate in a March for Babies event near you or in a March for Babies virtual walk.
- Encourage your friends and family to join your team. Being part of a team is a way to raise more funds. You can celebrate, honor or remember babies with others who care as much as you.
- Register now at MARCHFORBABIES.ORG/EVENT/PALMBEACHCOUNTY.
FUNDRAISE: Because of you, we’re able to help millions of families in communities like yours and across the country.
- You’re raising critical funds to help tackle the biggest health threats to moms and babies. And empowering moms with programs, information and tools to have healthier pregnancies and families.
- Set a personal goal and start fundraising! Our fundraising toolkit has great ideas to help you reach your goal.
- Start a Facebook fundraiser to make a meaningful gift to help moms and babies in your community and across the country. Visit MARCHFORBABIES.ORG/EVENT/PALMBEACHCOUNTY to get started.
RAISE AWARENESS: Post messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—don’t forget to tag us @marchofdimesfl @marchforbabies and use #marchforbabies in your posts!
- Share your own story! Include a link to your fundraising page so friends can help you reach your goal.
- Use our social media tools throughout your fundraising to inspire supporters and reach your goal.