NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The March of Dimes’ March for Babies will be held this Sunday, including several walks across the Tri-State Area.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports, Martha Marcellus knows first-hand what it’s like to have your baby struggling to survive.

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She gave birth 15 weeks before her due date. She says her baby daughter was the size of a cellphone.

“You can see her heart beat, you can see every movement, everything was so transparent,” she tells Diamond. “I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it.”

Marcellus, a nurse from Freeport, New York, says she was completely unprepared for the difficulties that lay ahead.

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“I remember one of the nurses saying to me, ‘It is going to be a roller coaster ride,'” she recalls.

(Credit: Martha Marcellus)

Her daughter, also Martha, suffered numerous infections and complications but made it.

The experience inspired Marcellus to change her nursing specialty. She now works in the neonatal intensive care unit.

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“I remember how I felt. I remember what I needed. And if I can give that back, then that would be — I’ll be happy,” she says.