Family to show the way on March for Babies

Jonathan and Kim Phillips, shown here frolicking with their sons, Graham and Benjamin, will serve April 26 as 2015 ambassadors for the March for Babies in Danbury, a benefit event for the March of Dimes. Courtesy of the March of Dimes
Jonathan and Kim Phillips, shown here frolicking with their sons, Graham and Benjamin, will serve April 26 as 2015 ambassadors for the March for Babies in Danbury, a benefit event for the March of Dimes. Courtesy of the March of DimesContributed Photo

Jonathan and Kim Phillips, along with their two sons, will share an emotional experience this Sunday.

The New Milford family will help kick off the March of Dimes' regional March for Babies at Ives Concert Park on the campus of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.

The Philllips are the event's 2015 honoary ambassadors.

They will share their family's prematurity journey, thank walkers for their commitment to the March of Dimes mission to give all babies a healthy start, and lead the walk with their team, "ABC Infantry."

Since 2012, their March for Babies team has raised nearly $30,000 for the March of Dimes.

In fall of 2011, the couple was looking forward to the February birth of their triplets.

In October, the triplets were born far too soon, and Andrew, Bryce and Charlotte did not survive their early arrival.

"Their little bodies were not prepared for life outside of mine. We were forced to say goodbye much too soon," said Kim. "In sharing our story, we have been comforted by too many who have been through something similar."

Each year in Connecticut, nearly 40,000 babies in Connecticut are born; one in 10 babies are born too soon, and one in seven infant deaths is attributed to a birth defect.

The mission of the March of Dimes is to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality through research, education, advocacy and community programs.

"Scientific research has done so much to advance the chance of survival for preterm infants, yet there is still work to be done," said Kim Phillips. "We are confident the March of Dimes will continue to break barriers that will provide for healthy babies and future generations."

"Andrew, Bryce and Charlotte now have two brothers, both of which were born full term and healthy," she added. "There will be four of us walking in March for Babies this year... however we will always consider ourselves a family of seven."

Registration for the March for Babies will begin at 9 a.m. and the walk will start at 10 a.m.

To register, visit marchforbabies.org/event/danbury or marchofdimes.org/ct.

Those interested in learning more about the March of Dimes should visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org, Facebook and on Twitter.