NBC Connecticut is partnering with the Today Show for our Run for Today campaign and all month long we’ll be highlighting the health benefits of running and encouraging you to come run with us at the March of Dimes Run for Babies on May 1.
After five years of participating in the 5K and walk, one family has a new role this year with the March of Dimes.
"We weren't trying to be ambassadors,” March of Dimes Ambassador Susan Vassiliou said. “We were just trying to remember our daughter and it just kind of reaffirms everything that we've been doing and I think it's just given us a little bit of a push."
After delivering her stillborn daughter 19 weeks into her pregnancy, Susan Vassiliou was devastated.
"It's so important because I felt so alone when it first happened, when I first found out that our daughter had passed away and I just did not know what to do,” Vassiliou said. “And it's this taboo thing that nobody wants to talk about if they've had a miscarriage or if they've lost a child."
Vassiliou said one in 10 babies are born too soon, one in four women experience miscarriages, but women are talking about it.
“I just want everyone to know what they're not alone," she said.
This year, Vassiliou and her family are talking about it.
“This year, it's been a really big goal for us to be more vocal about our daughter and say her name more often and get more people and get the courage to kind of step up and do those things," Vassiliou said.
And that's what being the ambassadors for the March of Dimes Run for Babies is allowing the Vassilious to do.
"Every year it gets better and better as more of our family can participate, more of our friends hear about the walk and participate,” Susan’s husband, Nick, said. “It's just a tremendous honor to be able to walk with my boys."
"Just to see like more and more people get involved just because of us and because of my daughter who never was on this earth that she could make a difference and influence the lives of others I think that's just what our goal is and what it's meant to us" adds Susan.
And we want to celebrate with all of you on May 1. To join the NBC Connecticut team click here.