3 Year Old Everett Boy Selected As 2018 March Of Dimes Snohomish County MARCH FOR BABIES Ambassador

EVERETT, WA, March 20, 2018 — The 2018 March of Dimes Snohomish County March for Babies is bringing our community together to improve the health
of all moms and babies. Three-year-old Dominic Gonzalez, who was born almost six weeks prematurely, has been selected as the 2018 March of Dimes Snohomish
County March for Babies® Ambassador. March of Dimes gives 4 million babies born each year the best possible start. Nearly half a million of them are born prematurely or with birth defects. Premature
birth and its complications are the largest contributors to infant death in the U.S. and pregnancy-related death has more than doubled over the past
25 years.

DeAnna and Jarin Gonzalez were excited to be having a boy in their family after having three girls. DeAnna’s pregnancy was progressing normally, until
suddenly, one day at 33 weeks into her pregnancy, she noticed that the baby was not moving very much. DeAnna called her nurse as a precaution and was
advised to go to the hospital to be checked. Once she was hooked up to the fetal monitors, it wasn’t long before one of the nurses hit the red button.
DeAnna was quickly surrounded by medical staff who were ready to do an emergency c-section right then and there.

The baby’s heart rate had dropped between 40-60bpm and then, thankfully, it stabilized. But, DeAnna spent the next three days in the antepartum unit under
constant monitoring. The baby’s heart rate would decelerate randomly, but each time he would recover on his own. Finally, it was determined the risk
to the baby was too great and DeAnna was scheduled for a c-section. Prior to delivery, she had two steroid shots which boosted the baby’s lung development
before birth.

“When our son was born, Dominic’s umbilical cord was wrapped in a figure 8 around his legs so when he’d kick, his heartrate would drop– essentially cutting
off his own air supply,” says DeAnna Gonzalez. “Dominic spent seventeen days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit before being allowed to go home. Today,
we have a thriving, joyful, smart three-year-old boy because of our fantastic nurses and doctors at Providence Pavilion and the research, funded by
March of Dimes, that gave us the surfactant treatment–the steroid shots– which helped Dominic’s underdeveloped lungs breathe when he was born.” DeAnna
Gonzalez continues, “Serving as the 2018 Snohomish County March for Babies Ambassador Family is a way for us to show our gratitude to March of Dimes.”

March for Babies is the largest annual fundraising event of the March of Dimes. Dr. Heshmati, the 2018 Snohomish County March for Babies campaign
chair, knows how important it is to raise much-needed funds to lead the fight for the health of all moms and babies. “The mission of March of Dimes
is important to me. The battle to combat prematurity and to ensure healthy moms and strong babies is a core part of what I do every day as an OBGYN
at the Everett Clinic and the Medical Director of Obstetrics at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett,” says Dr. Heshmati. “Personally, my son,
Robert, was a preterm birth. It was unexpected. It was difficult. It brought tears to my wife and me, seeing him in the NICU and wondering how he would do. Now I see him growing up faster than I want and imagining the great things he will do. As
a father, I can’t think of a more important cause,” he says. “When you March for Babies, you make a statement about the world you want to live in –-
one in which healthy moms and strong babies are a priority for us all.”

“We are grateful to have the support of DeAnna, Jarin and Dominic Gonzalez as our 2018 March for Babies Ambassador Family and the leadership of Dr. Heshmati
as our Snohomish County March for Babies chair,” says Kristen Almgren, Greater Seattle March of Dimes Development Manager. “We share a commitment to
moms through every stage of the pregnancy journey, even when everything doesn’t go according to plan. When you participate in March for Babies, you’re
raising critical funds to help tackle the biggest health threats to moms and babies, such as those the Heshmati and Gonzalez families experienced.
From advocacy to education to research, we work to level the playing field so that all moms and babies are healthy.”

The March for Babies community bands together to fight for the health of all moms and babies. We raise funds and awareness so that we can solve even the
toughest problems. Every March for Babies participant is a leader who has the power to make a huge difference for families. 3,000,000 people in 400
communities across the United States will participate in the 2018 March for Babies campaign. The goal of the 2018 Snohomish County March for Babies
campaign is to raise $150,000. March for Babies Snohomish County takes place Saturday, April 21, 2018 at Legion Memorial Park, 144 Alverson Blvd., Everett, WA 98201 when everyone will join together to hope, remember and celebrate. On-site registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the three-mile walk kicking off at
9:30 a.m. Details and registration information can be found at marchforbabies.org for this walk or the virtual walk. Start a team with your company, family or friends. You can also donate directly.

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family. Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and
Twitter.