March of Dimes stories

Tri Sigma and March of Dimes lead the fight for the health of all moms and babies. You have the opportunity to learn more about the March of Dimes mission and make a difference through our national partnership. Through our Foundation initiatives and grants for March of Dimes’ six Prematurity Research Centers, we understand the importance of addressing this critical health crisis for women, children, and families.

Each year March of Dimes benefits more than 4 million babies. Among those impacted by March of Dimes, we find Tri Sigma mothers, daughters, sisters, and their families. See some of their stories below…

Watch our Tri Sigma and March of Dimes story.


From Clare Ford, who spoke at Dunham Women of Character Institute 2019:

Having experienced prematurity and infant loss, March of Dimes has impacted my life in more ways than one. When I was pregnant for the first time, I experienced the ups and downs of a multiples pregnancy. I had two beautiful fraternal baby girls growing inside me. Then my world came crashing down at my 12-week ultrasound. There was a problem with one of my twins—she had cystic hygroma and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to hold both of my girls at the same time. I had multiple tests and hard decisions to make and at my 20-week ultrasound, she was gone. No heartbeat to be heard and no movement to be seen.

My next ultrasound was hard as I knew I was only going to be looking at my surviving twin. She had an amazing ultrasound, and everything was looking up for a single pregnancy. I was at peace.

All-day on August 22nd I experienced something I didn’t realize was labor—back labor. Who would have thought I needed to know the signs of premature labor? Everything was picture perfect for my little girl at the last checkup. But it was happening, fast. She was coming way before she was ready.

Beautiful baby Lauren was born at exactly 26 weeks gestation weighing in at 1lb 12oz and 13.5in long. It was controlled chaos. I had no idea what was happening. Why was she coming so early? Would she survive? What about my other baby girl? So many unanswered questions.

We buried precious Mary and she was watching over her sister as she fought in the NICU.

The days and weeks after she was born were a blur. I am only reminded by photos and videos. I am thankful for my husband, parents, brother, and friends for taking these photos and videos. They are a reminder of my and Lauren’s strength. She endured so much in her first few weeks of life. She received therapies, breathing treatments, medicines, etc. outside of where she should have been growing. A true miracle.

After countless tests, trials, and obstacles, Lauren finally came home after 97 days in the NICU on a heart monitor. We had follow-up appointment after follow-up appointment, but she thrived. Lauren is now a feisty, creative, three-year-old. She is truly a miracle and I am lucky to call her mine.

I am thankful the research March of Dimes does to give all babies the best possible start. I am thankful to have been able to carry Lauren’s brother to term, giving him the best possible start.

Watch the Rysak family story.

Delta Upsilon alumna Melissa Rysak shares her March of Dimes story. Her story includes both loss and love and how premature birth affected her family.

Watch a closed-caption version here.

From Melissa Rysak:

We don’t know what caused my early deliveries in either case and don’t know how they could have been prevented. I find this unacceptable in an age of such miraculous science and medicine. We did everything right, and we still went through one of the worse losses possible…that of a child.

Please, understand that your support of the March of Dimes will lead to answers. I am fully confident that the March of Dimes research will, sooner rather than later, figure out what causes preterm delivery in otherwise healthy mothers, and more importantly, how to stop it 100% of the time. We need to continue to support their mission and give the world more Connors. Because a future any other way is simply unimaginable.