As two Mahwah families are watching a premature baby fight for his life, an anonymous friend started a fundraiser to help pay for the child’s treatment and ongoing care.
Mason DiGiulio, whose mom grew up in Mahwah before recently moving to Saddle Brook, was born at 5:33 a.m. on Jan. 13. Mason was born extremely premature at only 25 weeks. At birth, he weighed one pond, seven ounces.
“He had just passed the critical point [of development],” his mom MaryBeth Burris DiGiulio said. “I had done all of the pre-pregnancy stuff, and everything was going well. But then [on Friday, Jan. 11] my water broke. They did everything they could to stop the labor but Mason wasn’t having that.”
DiGiulio also said she has a history of having children who are premature. Her first child, who is now 11, was born at 30 weeks, and weighed about three pounds, and her second, who is now 3, was born at 35 weeks at 5 pounds. The limited complications those two had from their early births will pale in comparison to the battle Mason has ahead of him, DiGiulio said.
The tiny baby is on a ventilator, and will likely need to stay at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood at least until April, which should have been the full term of DiGuilio’s pregnancy, she said.
“It’s going to be a long, uphill battle for him and for all of us,” she said. “And there will be good days and there will be bad days.”
In the midst of the family’s fight, someone they know decided to help lessen the financial burden of nursing Mason back to health. Someone close to the family recently set up the ‘Helping Baby Mason DiGiulio’ online fundraiser. But, the family doesn’t know who did it.
“Someone told me about it, and I was shocked,” MaryBeth DiGiulio said. “I actually even called the company to make sure it was real. At this point, I’m guessing it was a friend who wanted to help us, but didn’t want a pat on the back for doing it.”
So far, the online donation page has raised $1,070. Its mystery creator has set a goal of $20,000.
DiGiulio said the family is extremely grateful from all of the support they are getting, especially from the Mahwah community. Both her family and her husband’s family live in Mahwah, and she said she is a Mahwah High School grad who still has many connections to the township.
“The community support is really important,” she told Patch. “Peoples’ thoughts and prayers are the most powerful thing we could ask for right now, and I know we are getting a lot of those.”
Get more information about the ‘Helping Baby Mason DiGiulio’ fundraiser here.