Every spring, Publix supports the March of Dimes (MOD) campaign. This year, we had the opportunity to check in with a few previous campaign participants — family members of our very own associates.
Through the help MOD has provided to these children, customers and associates connect every year to their stories of resilience and survival. This has been crucial to the success of the campaign year after year.
Sterling, Age 10 years old
Nephew of Store Manager Christi Nelson, #1185, Madison, Alabama
We met Sterling in 2017 as a lively second grader who loved to read and study science. Thirty-eight weeks into his mom’s pregnancy, doctors discovered that instead of three umbilical cord vessels, he only had one. As a result, he was born with a malformed heart and underwent corrective open-heart surgery at 6 months old. Sterling is now a healthy fourth grader who loves animals and his Nintendo Switch. He also plays Little League Baseball and likes to go swimming.
Nicholas, Age 10 years old
Son of Seafood Specialist Mark Matthews, #587, Columbia, South Carolina
Nicholas was born at 24 weeks, weighing 2 pounds and measuring 13 inches. Because of his prematurity, he is severely delayed, deaf and has sensory issues. When we met Nicholas in 2014, he was 4 years old and could almost sit up on his own. Today, as a 10-year-old, he continues to grow cognitively and physically. He can walk with assistance and enjoys horseback riding. He is a happy child with a love for people and animals.
Amari, 10 years old
Daughter of Customer Service Team Leader Latasha McLemore, #522, Savannah, Georgia
Amari was born via emergency C-section at only 24 weeks and wasn’t expected to survive because of her extreme prematurity. But she proved doctors wrong. In 2015, Amari was a 5-year-old kindergartner with a personality bigger than herself. Today, she is thriving in fourth grade, loves to read and says art is her favorite subject. She likes running and hopes to run track someday.
Juliet and Jackson (twins), 7 years old
Grandchildren of Cashier Jim Gray, #1088, Tampa, Florida
Juliet and Jackson were born six weeks early, and both have overcome health issues. When we met them in 2014, they were happy, healthy 1-year-old toddlers who were meeting their developmental milestones. Today, the twins are active first graders. Jackson likes video games and T-ball, and Juliet loves animals and soccer.
Alexander, Sabrina, and Zachary (triplets), 9 years old
Sons and daughter of Store Manager James Gooze, #1454, Hollywood, Florida, and Cake Decorator Dayana DiGiuseppe, #528, Pembroke Pines, Florida
Born at 34 weeks, the Gooze triplets were making progress. Sabrina and Alexander stayed in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) for three weeks. However, Zachary had a birth defect in his esophagus and needed emergency surgery to insert a feeding tube. When we met them in 2010, the triplets were 8 months old. Today, these active 9-year-olds are healthy fourth graders with no more developmental concerns. They share a very special bond and love spending time with each other, as well as reading books, playing video games and riding their bikes.
Olivia and Amelia (twins), 5 years old
Daughters of Manufacturing Business Delivery Manager Roland Bean
When Olivia and Amelia were born prematurely at 30 weeks, they were rushed to the NICU and hooked up to ventilators. Thanks to research and treatment funded by the MOD the girls gained strength while in the NICU. When we met them in 2014, they were only 3 months old. Now the 5-year-old girls are growing and developing as expected. They both love playing the piano, and while Olivia likes dressing up as a princess, Amelia loves outdoor activities like running and biking.
This year, thanks to the generosity of customers and associates, Publix helped raise more than $5.1 million for the March of Dimes.