Lauren Fleming

Lauren was born 3½ months early weighing only 2 pounds, 1 ounce. Her father, Densel, had been a March of Dimes volunteer for 16 years. Yet, he and his wife Nikki never could have imagined what it would be like to have a baby in newborn intensive care for 5 months.

Lauren was treated for respiratory distress and underwent multiple surgeries related to a damaged vocal cord and a heart defect. Doctors prepared the Flemings for the worst, Densel says, but “Lauren did everything doctors said she wouldn’t be able to do — like cry and breathe on her own. I knew she was saying to me, if I’m willing to fight, then, Daddy, you better be man enough to fight as well.”

Today, Lauren is a warm and loving 7-year-old who makes friends easily and loves to dance, draw, create storybooks and read. Her parents are grateful for the March of Dimes research and treatment that helped her beat the odds and helped their other two children, Erin and Corbin, be born healthy.

As the 2011 National Ambassador, Lauren and her family, of Marvin, North Carolina, travel the country to share her inspiring story, help raise awareness of premature birth and encourage families and companies to walk with them in March for Babies.

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