WOODBURY - An event was held on Long Island today to raise awareness about a fatal disease that leaves some families with only moments to meet their newborns.
Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards Syndrome, is a rare chromosome disorder that most of the time proves fatal for newborns. It affects one in every 6,000 babies.
Dawn and Michael Guidone lost their daughter Catherine to the disorder five years ago. The baby was diagnosed before her birth, and the family continued the pregnancy knowing they wouldn't have much time with her.
To keep Catherine's memory alive and spread the word about the disorder, the Guidone family has started the Littlest Angel Foundation. They held a run and a fundraiser at Syosset-Woodbury Park today to raise awareness and money.
"I felt that I really needed to do something productive," says Dawn Guidone. "I wanted people to know this chromosome disorder exists, and there's not a stigma to losing a child, and there is a community out there that will help you get through it."
The event was a comfort to Regina Pizzonia, of Manorville. She gave birth to twins just 7 weeks ago, a baby boy named Joseph and a girl named Isabella. Isabella had Trisomy 18, and lived for just an hour.
Pizzonia says she wouldn't have missed today's fundraiser and she's glad to have the support from other families.