NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The March of Dimes’ March for Babies steps off this Sunday at Lincoln Center to raise money for research and treatment with the goal of stronger, healthier babies.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond spoke with a family that’s been involved since the very beginning of their own journey with prematurity.

Emma Lookatch enjoys many of the same things other 10-year-old girls do.

“Ballet, yoga, I like to color,” she said.

The amazing thing about Emma is she was born weighing just over a pound and a half and three months early.  One of the lasting effects is cerebral palsy.

“You think when you get home that your journey is over and it’s really actually just beginning,” Emma’s mother Pam Lookatch said.

Her mother and father began walking in the March for Babies while Emma was in the neo-natal intensive care unit

“I probably at that time didn’t even realize that their mission now is premature birth, doing things that would have helped my child,” Pam Lookatch said.

Surfactant therapy, pioneered by the March of Dimes, helped Emma’s lungs grow.

Emma Lookatch (Credit: Pam Catchen)

Emma Lookatch (Credit: Pam Catchen)

For the past two years Emma has been on stage as part of the Joffrey Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.

“(What was that like?) Cool,” Emma said—spoken like a typical 10-year-old.