APRIL 23, 2021 — SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Once again, the pandemic is altering our lives, but it's not stopping us. Instead of its annual walk, the March of Dimes San Diego will host a drive-thru event this weekend. It's called, 'A Mother of a Movement,' and it's raising funds to save the lives of moms, babies, and help fathers through very anxious times.
If you thought you had a turbulent year, wait until you hear the story of Vanessa Cabiling and Charlie Basnight.
"We first met on March 1st of last year," says Basnight with a laugh.
Yup, just days before the lockdown. A love created during COVID-19, complete with virtual dates in onesies, and together, anytime they could be together. Within weeks they knew it was forever, and within months they found out there was going to be a third member of their party. Yet another onesie, infants this time, explaining his parents did NOT practice social distancing in 2021. Vanessa and Charlie couldn't have been happier, even during COVID. But there was a problem. Vanessa's blood pressure was spiking, and she was admitted to the hospital. An hour, became a whole night, the night turned into a whole week.
"It was about a week into her hospital stay that we started realizing that her blood pressure, they just couldn't get it under control," says Basnight.
Doctors talked about trying to keep the baby in as long as possible. A baby is considered premature at 37 weeks. Vanessa was only 27 weeks pregnant.
"We were in the hospital hoping for the best and then bam!" adds Basnight. "Before we knew it they were saying, 'We need to go ahead and deliver.'"
That was the night of February 28th, and about an hour later little Kade Basnight was born. Very premature and weighing a little more than 2 and a half pounds.
"Never before have I had just a sense of powerlessness like this," says Basnight.
Luckily for Charlie and Vanessa, and the 380,000 parents in the U.S. who experience premature birth each year, there is the March of Dimes. Decades of research and proven therapies give premature infants like Kade a fighting chance.
"Basically we know that the survival rate of NICU babies was not what it is today," adds Basnight.
For example, Kade is receiving surfactant therapy, a medication given directly into his lungs through a tube to help him breathe.
It's a treatment improved with the help of research through the March of Dimes. Kade, now a month and a half old, has gained two more pounds and gets stronger every day. And if just by coincidence, Vanessa walked with her San Diego County co-workers in the March for Babies in Balboa Park in 2019. Of course, this was long before she ever knew about her connection to this Mother of a Movement.
"She was talking to me about that the other day," says Basnight. "She never thought in a million years that she would have such a close connection with the March of Dimes when she was volunteering in the past for it."
Register here and join the March of Dimes San Diego Saturday, April 24th from 9 am to 12 pm at Inspiration Point in Balboa Park for a March for Babies Drive-Thru.