Lori and Justin Hill wanted to spread the word about the March of Dimes and what the agency does to help families. Serving as Family Ambassadors allows them to do just that.
As ambassadors for the organization, the Hills share the story of the loss of their infant daughter and how the organization helped them start the healing process.
The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.
Donna Colon is the senior community director for the March of Dimes Indiana Chapter. She helps the organizations find Family Ambassadors.
“When our families relate their stories, it makes it so much more personal,” Colon said. “The Family Ambassadors help people connect.”
She said it also helps to localize the annual walk-a-thon fundraiser.
“The walk represents the community coming together,” she said.
The Hills have lived in their Plainfield home for seven years. Lori has been in the Plainfield area for more than a decade.
“And my family opened the Hills Cobbler Shop out on (U.S.) 40,” Justin said. “We’ve always had a connection to Plainfield.”
The couple is still healing from the loss of their infant daughter, Mary-Catherine Gayle, who should have been born in 2010.
“We found out we were pregnant on Feb. 28, 2010,” Lori said. “On June 16, we found out we were having a girl. We also learned that her skull had not formed correctly.”
Their infant daughter had a neurological disorder called annasophlicic.
“The rest of her was perfect,” Lori said. “She had 10 fingers and 10 toes but we had to make the decision of whether we could take her to term.”
Physicians advised the couple that Lori’s health was also at risk. She gave birth on June 24.
Lori said she learned that the complications were caused by not having enough folic acid.