- June 4, 2015
MARCH FOR BABIES — CENTRAL FLORIDA
WHEN: 8 a.m. Saturday, April 25
WHERE: Lake Eola, 195 N. Rosalind Ave., Orlando
DETAILS: Event will feature the three-mile March for Babies walk, live entertainment, music, food and fun for the whole family.
WINTER GARDEN — Holly and Eric Sorensen already had suffered one miscarriage, in 2007, when Holly was 18 weeks pregnant, so she was cautious when she learned in February 2013 she was pregnant again. Everything was fine until she reached 24 weeks — Connor was born four months early and weighed a mere 14 ounces.
March of Dimes was at the hospital to support and educate the Winter Garden family as they dealt with their son’s health issues that resulted from his premature birth. His lungs weren’t fully developed, and he spent months on ventilators to help him breathe. He had a perforated bowel and underwent surgery when he was 2 weeks old; this resulted in two additional surgeries and a bilateral hernia repair.
Connor was able to go home at Christmastime 2013 after six months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“There were other little issues, some that we still deal with, but overall, Connor is now very healthy and strong,” Holly Sorensen said. “(At 22 months) he is a little behind most kids his age, but we work with speech, occupational and physical therapists to help him catch up. He’s doing terrific.”
The family had such a positive experience with March of Dimes that they wanted to give something back to the organization, so they started Team Connor’s Courage “to honor all babies like Connor who were born too soon,” Sorensen said.
The team comprises supporters, from family members and childhood friends to co-workers and people the Sorensens met while their son was in the hospital. Connor’s Courage is participating in the March of Dimes’ March for Babies, a three-mile walk taking place Saturday, April 25, at Lake Eola. The event will feature live entertainment, music, food and family fun. Participants can sign up at marchforbabies.org.
There is still space on the team for more people, and anyone who would like to help the family raise funds for healthier, stronger babies can visit marchforbabies.org and search for the Connor’s Courage team. Donations also can be made there.
The Sorensens were chosen as the 2015 Central Florida March for Babies Ambassador Family. In this role, they will be encouraging citizens to support March of Dimes, attending speaking engagements and appearing on radio shows to talk about the April 25 walk.
“We are honored to serve as this year’s March for Babies Ambassador Family,” Sorensen said. “Without the March of Dimes, Connor wouldn’t be with us today. We fully support the mission of the March of Dimes and appreciate what they’ve done for our family and the community. Motivating other parents and corporations to support our cause is a way of giving back to the March of Dimes.”
Although it’s stressful at times, having a son with ongoing health issues has strengthened Eric and Holly’s relationship, she said.
“It definitely brought us closer together, although we were pretty tight to begin with,” she said. “We have a great amount of support from our family, neighbors, friends and co-workers. It means so much to us to have that kind of support. It helped us get through the toughest times.”
March of Dimes is a leading non-profit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
Contact Amy Quesinberry Rhode at [email protected].