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Thomases Are A Long Island Ambassador Family

The Thomas family of Massapequa is among the three families chosen as a 2012 Long Island Ambassador Family by the Long Island Division of the New York Chapter of the March of Dimes. Other families are the Raymars of Merrick and the Theologitises of Lake Grove.  These families were selected because of their first-hand experience with premature births.

Vaulted into the world in critical condition at just 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 lb. 11 oz. and 1 lb. 14 oz. respectively, Grace Michelle and John Russell Thomas of Massapequa had a rough start to life.   Grace spent five months in neonatal intensive care units undergoing surgery to fix her heart, struggled with respiratory issues and collapsed lungs, eventually resulting in additional surgeries and the use of a ventilator.   Her twin, John, spent three-and-half months in the NICU also requiring life saving heart surgery at just 10 days old.  John then experienced the typical preemie journey in the NICU.  It wasn’t until his discharge that a profound hearing loss was discovered and his prognosis was uncertain.  Today, John and Grace are typical 2-year-olds. John can hear and understand the world around him and Grace is still the fighter she was since the day she was born.  

“Every day, thousands of babies are born too soon, too small and often very sick. Our team is walking in March for Babies because we want to do something about this,” said their parents, Danielle and Gregg.

The annual March for Babies event will take place on Sunday, April 29 at Eisenhower Park in East and on Sunday, May 6 at Stony Brook University. Register and raise money online at or call 496-2100 for more information.