The Yeti Tour is coordinated by Nate & Kelly Alvar and a group of friends, family and volunteers. The Alvar family became familiar with the March of Dimes following the loss of their first two infant sons, after which the Yeti Tour was started as a way to work toward healthy outcomes for other children. This is their story.
In 2005 Kelly and I became pregnant with our first son, Isaiah. At our 20 week ultrasound our doctor informed us that something was wrong. We learned that Isaiah was suffering from severe birth defects, from which his odds of survival were one in a million.
We went to appointment after appointment, desiring to give our child every chance we could. We went into laber on July 26th, 2006. Isaiah was born and we were told he would have a short time to live. We spent 20 minutes with him, 20 minutes that were special in a way only a parent knows.
After Isaiah, we were looking for way to give back and to help other children and families. That is when we met the March of Dimes. A short time later, we became pregnant with our second child, Mason. The pregnancy was an uneventful and otherwise normal pregrancy. Yet, to everyone's surprise, Mason came three months early.
On April 25th, 2007, we met Mason, kicking and screaming. He spent his days in an incubator and was doing well. On the third day our doctor told us he would need emergency surgery. from which he was not able to recover. Mason passed away at only one week old.
Today, Kelly and I have a happy, healthy four-year-old son, Jonas, and our newborn son, Elias, who was just born this last summer. Our sons were given a healthy start thanks to the advancements made possible by organizations such as the March of Dimes.
Please join us in supporting the March of Dimes, in the hope that one day all children will be born healthy.
What does the March of Dimes do?
The mission of the March of Dimes is to prevent premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality. Half a million babies are born prematurely each year in the U.S. and we still don't understand the root cause in over half of these cases. The March of Dimes is leading research in the field. Fortunately, recent data has shown that preterm births fell for the fifth straight year in a row (source).
The March of Dimes works by:
- Helping moms take care of their health
- Supporting families when something does go wrong
- Funding innovative research into the causes of prematurity
- Providing professional education and medical resources on premature birth
- Fighting for legislation and policy that protects the health of moms and babies everywhere
The March of Dimes may have already helped you! You or your loved ones may have had your lives affected by the work of the March of Dimes. Your life has already been affected in some way if:
- You received a polio vaccine.
- You are aware that alcohol, tobacco and drug use during pregnancy can result in poor birth outcomes
- Your baby or a baby you know was cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit
- You are aware that women of childbearing age should take a multivitamin with folic acid to decrease the risk of neural tube defects
- Your baby or a baby you know suffered from respiratory distress syndrome and received lifesaving lung surfactant therapy
We support the March of Dimes for those we remember and for those to come. We work so that one day all children are born healthy!