PORT ROYAL - At only 3 pounds and 14 ounces, Adalyn Anstine was born eight weeks early to Lisa and Aaron Anstine, of Port Royal, four years ago. With slim chances of surviving after a premature birth, Adalyn was immediately admitted to Harrisburg Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
After 18 days of treatment to assist Adalyn's underdeveloped lungs, Lisa and Aaron were able to bring their baby home and celebrate.
Today, she and her family are helping spread the word for the March of Dimes, an organization instrumental in saving her life.
Photo submitted by PAULA FAIRMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Adalyn Anstine and her parents, Lisa and Aaron, all of Port Royal, have been chosen as the 2013 Capital Area Ambassador Family for the March of Dimes. They will walk on Sunday at Harrisburg Area Community College to help raise awareness and funds to help all babies get a healthy start by fighting serious threats to infant health.
If Adalyn had been born 15 years earlier, before such treatments were developed through funding by the March of Dimes, she would most likely not have survived. Now, Adalyn is an active little girl who loves to ride horses, dance and sing.
In honor of Adalyn's life and her family's story, the Central PA Division of March of Dimes has chosen the Anstines as this year's ambassador family, said Senior Community Director Michelle Rogers.
"Their story really touched us and they were willing to share it for the March of Dimes mission," Rogers said. "We chose them because they understand the fear involved in a premature birth and the role March of Dimes played in their daughter's life."
The March of Dimes organization is dedicated to helping moms have full-term pregnancies and research possible problems that can threaten the health of babies, according to www.marchofdimes.com. Since its founding 75 years ago, March of Dimes has donated millions of dollars to research, advocacy and technology development.
The Anstine family plans to walk in the March for Babies event on Sunday in Harrisburg. They will share Adalyn's story during opening ceremonies and lead the march through the city.