NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – At 26 weeks into her first pregnancy, Stacey Wender had no idea she was about to give birth. Her son’s due date was December 12.

“None. I was actually at the doctor the day before and [the doctor] said to me ‘You’ll be full term,'” Wender told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.

Then her water broke. Shortly after that, her son Blake Kortye was born on September 10, weighing just two pounds.

“Doctors kept coming in, it seemed every shift change, telling me he may have brain damage, he may not have his eyesight,” she said.

The odds were against little Blake.

Blake Kortye shortly after birth (via Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Blake Kortye shortly after birth (via Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

“We actually had him baptized in the hospital. Nobody else came. We just havd the priest, my husband, and myself just cause we didn’t know,” she said.

That was 10 years ago.

Today, Blake is an active kid. He’s the goalie on his hockey team and an A student.

“My favorite things to do on the weekends are chill out and play hockey and I usually play lacrosse during the spring, and at school I play baseball and floor hockey and soccer and a lot of other sports,” Blake told Diamond.

Wender contributes much of Blake’s success to the March of Dimes – its therapies for preemies and support for parents.

“Honestly, I look back and I say he wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the March of Dimes,” she said. “We did not know about the March of Dimes at the time and I remember thinking I wish I knew this. We need to reach out to these moms who are in there and they kind of feel alone.”

Over the years, Wender estimates her family has raised $20,000 for the the organization that she says gave her the priceless gift of a son.

Remember the March of Dimes’ March for Babies is this Sunday in Manhattan. You can join WCBS 880′s Pat Farnack and CBS2′s John Elliott. Click HERE for more information.


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