Health Check: March of Dimes ambassador family visits RI

To see 8-year-old Nina now, you might never know her history. When she was born on Feb. 20, 2005, she weighed 2 pounds, 15 ounces.

Nina is the second child of Vince and Chris Centofanti.

"Our first pregnancy was full term, so we had no reason to believe that our second pregnancy would be anything other than perfect," Vince Centofanti said.

But at 31 weeks, Chris Centofanti developed HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening pregnancy complication. Nina was born nine weeks early.

"One of the things that really helped Nina was before she was delivered, during those 48 hours in the hospital , my wife was given steroids and those steroids helped to promote Nina's lung development before she was born," Vince Centofanti said.

"And our outcome could have been a lot different had it not been for some of the research and treatments that have been help funded by the March of Dimes," he said.

Nina is an active 8-year-old now.

"She loves to play with her friends. She loves to dance, she's in ballet," Vince Centofanti said.

As a way of giving back, the Centofantis, who live in Cincinnati, are traveling cross-country as an ambassador family to promote the March of Dimes mission, which includes prevention and research.

Locally, the research is going on at Women & Infants Hospital.

The Centofantis credit the March of Dimes with helping ensure their third child, born after Nina, was healthy.

Because of the March of Dimes advocacy, Chris Centofanti was given progesterone to help minimize the risk of preterm birth.