Their newborn son, born premature, spent months in the hospital before ever being able to come home with his parents. Now, a Davenport couple is paying it forward as co-chairs of the March for Babies Walk.
"We counted our blessings from day one and realized it was out of our control and just tried to make life as normal as possible, which was impossible," said Pete Stopulos.
Alex Stopulos' journey started when he was just one pound, eight ounces.
"He was in the NICU for 158 days," said Megan Stopulos, Alex's mom.
"We didn't realize that he was essentially on life support for 45 to 60 days early on," said Pete.
His mom documented those early days and his journey since on her blog. There is a picture from the day he turned one month old, when she was able to hold him for the first time. There's a, "Fat-tastic Day," post, when she shares that he is now too big for preemie clothes. And there are pictures from the day he could finally go home.
"It really was one day at a time," said Pete.
Now at 17 months old,
"So today, the University said we don't need to see him anymore, he's moved past that, he's now no longer high risk," said Pete.
His parents are now starting a journey of their own.
"Right away, the March of Dimes reached out to us. We learned kind of all the services they offer, all the resources they offer," said Mean.
This weekend Pete and Megan will be the co-chairs of the March for Babies Walk.
"We didn't realize they saved his life early on," said Pete, "He needed artificial surfactant and that was developed 30 years ago, 25 years ago, with research done by The March of Dimes. So, they were helping us before we knew they were helping us."
Helping to get Alex to where he is now.
"I think he's a miracle and especially when he's playing with his brother and you hear them laughing together or playing together. You're just thankful for every day," said Megan.
The money raised will go to March of Dimes, an organization that works to help moms have full-term pregnancies and researches the problems that threaten the health of babies.