August 21, 2013
WADESBORO — The Greater Piedmont Division of March of Dimes is proud to announce Luke White, 13 months old, and his family as the 2013 Anson County March for Babies Ambassadors.
Lenelle and Joel White started trying for a family in November of 2012 and discovered they were pregnant two months later. “I had a really good pregnancy,” said Lenelle. “My check-ups were always great and the pregnancy was as uneventful as a pregnancy could be.” While on a weekend getaway to the beach, Lenelle’s feet began to swell and she began to feel sick on Sunday. Shortly after returning home from the trip, Lenelle’s water broke late that night; she was 31 and a half weeks gestation.
Doctors were able to temporarily stop Lenelle’s contractions for two days, but early on the third day, July 3, 2012, Julian Luke White was born. Luke weighed 4 pounds, 17 inches long and went on to spend two weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) due to apnea and jaundice. He spent an additional three and a half weeks in progressive care. Lenelle recounts being discharged while Luke was still in the NICU. “You don’t ever plan to go into the hospital pregnant and not be able to take your baby with you when you leave,” she stated. “It’s like leaving a part of yourself there, it’s unreal.”
Luke is currently a thriving and healthy little boy. “He is a huge ball of curious energy and gets into everything,” said Lenelle. “If I had to find one word to describe him, I’d say, ‘happy.’”
Lenelle said she and Joel’s next goal is getting Luke walking over the next couple of months, “a goal we welcome with open arms,” she stated.
As Ambassadors, the family will speak at local and regional meetings, explaining how the March of Dimes has benefited them and encouraging others to join the cause. The March of Dimes walk is Nov. 16 at Anson High School. More information is available at marchforbabies.org.
“Just because children come early, doesn’t mean they’re broken,” said Lenelle. “They just have to fight a little harder, preemies are fighters,” stated Lenelle.
In 2013, the March of Dimes celebrates its 75th anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life. Early research led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines that all babies still receive. Other breakthroughs include new treatments for premature infants and children with birth defects. About 4 million babies are born each year in the United States, and all have benefited from March of Dimes lifesaving research and education.