Shelby Ruth Forbes weighed 1 pound, 12 ounces when she was born at 28 weeks on April 6, 2010.
Her parents, Jason Forbes and Charity Morrison, of Hanover, found out their first daughter would be arriving early when Morrison went to her seven-month checkup and was told the placenta was not functioning properly.
Morrison's due date wasn't until June 24, but she was admitted to York Hospital at the end of March, and Shelby arrived soon after.
"They told us that she wouldn't make noise, but she was screaming," said Charity Morrison, 29. Her cries, along with the fact that she was breathing on her own, gave her parents and doctors optimism that she would be OK.
"She was 13.75 inches long, and a Barbie is 12 inches, so she was about the size of a Barbie," said Morrison.
Shelby was given one dose of surfactant therapy to help with breathing, a treatment that the March of Dimes funded research to develop, Morrison said. The March of Dimes also worked to regionalize newborn intensive care units (NICUs) to provide broader access to specialized care for premature babies.
Shelby spent 61 days in the NICU at York Hospital before going home, but today, she is a thriving 2-year-old. At 19 pounds, she is small for her age, but she can do anything that other children her age do, Morrison said.
Representatives: She is thriving so much that the Forbes family was chosen as the 2012 Ambassador Family for the Central Pennsylvania York March for Babies.
An ambassador family is chosen each year to represent the March of Dimes in its efforts to help the more than half a million babies born prematurely every year.
March for Babies is an annual fundraising walk for the March of Dimes, and will be held on Sunday at John Rudy County Park in East Manchester Township.
Live music will be provided by Til Death Do Us Party, and there will be children's activities.
The three-mile walk is held in 900 communities across the United States with more than 7 million participants each year.
"Their main goal, which is the same as ours, is to see happy and healthy babies born, and for everyone to be born full term," said Morrison.
The family raised $1,300 in a month for the March for Babies last year, and their goal this year is to raise $5,000. To support their team, visit www.marchforbabies.org/team/doodlebug.
-- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The March for Babies begins at 11 a.m. Sunday at John Rudy County Park. Registration opens at 9 a.m. To sign up or donate, call 717-260-3406 or log on to marchforbabies.org.