The Schmidt Family is honored to serve as the Ambassador Family for the 2018 Erie March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction. Like many parents, they had no idea how much March of Dimes helps families who suffer loss until they experienced it first-hand.
At 18 weeks pregnant with their second daughter, the Schmidts were informed that their baby had microcephaly and would not survive when she was born. Olivia Grace was born on January 30, 2008, and with the odds against her, started breathing on her own. They were able to bring her home a few days later. Though they knew she would not be with them for long, Olivia stayed with them for 29 amazing days and was always surrounded by family and friends.
On February 27, 2008, Olivia started to lose her battle. The Schmidts called their family and told them it was time to say goodbye. Olivia was held and loved on during her final hours with everyone that stopped by. On February 28, Olivia Grace took her last breath while in her mother’s arms.
The family celebrates Olivia every year with a balloon release on her birthday and remembers her legacy by walking in the March for Babies event. This past walk was their 10th year walking in memory of Olivia. She was not with her family long, but in the time that she was, their “Miracle Girl” forever changed their lives.
As the 2018 Erie March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction Ambassador Family, the Schmidts will share Olivia’s story and help raise awareness of infant loss. They hope their story can provide support for other families and help March of Dimes lead the fight for the health of all moms and babies.
March of Dimes believes that every baby deserves the best possible start. Unfortunately, not all babies get one. March of Dimes is changing that. We support critical research, lead programs, and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start.