Cali enjoys some fun time with mom and dad, Gloria and Steve Kiss.
Five years after being born prematurely at The Children’s Medical Center at Summerlin Hospital, preschooler Cali Kiss was chosen to be the Las Vegas Valley Child Ambassador for the March of Dimes. This means she will be a special participant at events to raise awareness about the importance of prenatal care and infant-related medical research. “We have a personal story to share,” says her mom, Gloria Kiss.
Cali’s journey began on November 16, 2011, when she was born 10 weeks early, weighing just three pounds. “When your child is born prematurely, many scary thoughts and emotions go through your mind,” Cali’s dad, Steve Kiss, says.
Almost a month after Cali was born, the family faced another hurdle when they were told Cali could have necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a potentially life-threatening intestinal condition. “My heart sank,” Gloria recalls. “I felt helpless. But this tiny little baby needed my strength now, more than ever.”
Gloria found comfort from the nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) — especially one nurse who guided her “as a mom” and encouraged her to use “Kangaroo care,” a special way of holding an infant with skin-to-skin contact. “That was the best thing for Cali and for me,” Gloria says.
She was also encouraged by a representative from the March of Dimes who reassured her that medical treatment would prevail and Cali would get healthy. She made it her mission to support the organization when Cali was better.
Today, Cali is a thriving 5-year-old who loves ballet, gymnastics, getting her picture taken and making friends. She went back with her mom to visit the NICU at The Children’s Medical Center on her fifth birthday and delighted the staff.
Together, this family is supporting the March of Dimes to help ensure that all babies, like Cali, have a chance at life.
Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
The Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Summerlin Hospital provides the highest level of nursery care for newborns.
March for Babies 2019
A two-mile March for Babies walk for the March of Dimes will be held Saturday, April 13, at Cornerstone Park, 1600 Wigwam Parkway, Henderson. Registration is at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 9 a.m.