Rocklin Parents of Preemies Make Lasting Connection with Therapist
When Cruz and Easton Duarte, 2-year old twins from Rocklin, were born on April 2, 2011 at Sutter Roseville's Family Birth Center, they were five weeks premature. Tiny baby Cruz weighed 4-pounds, 10-ounces and baby Easton weighed 5-pounds, 4 ounces.
Like many premature babies, they needed help with breathing and feeding after birth. Both were whisked away to the medical center's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in order to receive specialized care.
Their parents, Rebecca and Andy Duarte, were overwhelmed that their baby boys were so small and helpless. They were also alarmed to learn their boys have albinism, which means their bodies can't make a normal amount of melanin, causing a lack pigment to protect their skin and eyes. While their parents have dark eyes and dark hair, both boys have blue eyes and blonde-white hair.
"The nurses were great when the boys were in the NICU and they spent a lot of time with us," said Rebecca at the recent 5th Annual NICU Reunion held at Hillsborough Park in Roseville. The reunion gathered staff and families back together to show the babies' progress since "graduating" from the NICU.
Rebecca especially remembers how respiratory therapist Dawn Smith eased the family's fears about the twins' albinism. "I have an 11-year old niece with albinism," said Smith. "I've watched her grow up and she is amazing."
Smith talked to Rebecca and Andy early on during their time in the NICU and shared information about her albino niece. She also connected the Duarte's to her sister-in-law and to web sites and support groups on albinism.
In turn, Smith fell in love with Cruz and Easton and the rest of the family. "They are incredibly special to me," she said. Smith, who visits the Duarte family at least once a year, is connected to the Duarte's by Facebook to keep up on the family's activities.
Cruz and Easton are happy and healthy toddlers. They need to wear sun glasses outdoors to protect their eyes, which are sensitive to bright light, along with hats and sunscreen to protect their fair skin, which they donned for the NICU Reunion. Sister Gabrielle and brother Ryland joined the twins at the NICU reunion, where there were activities that included crafts, bean bag toss, Diaper Derby races, big wheel races, Pirates Treasure and Lucky Lollipops.
"Dawn started out as a good resource for our family," said Rebecca. "Now she's become a family friend."
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesNew California Laws for 2015 (Part 27)New California laws for 2015 part 27 includes health coverage, pharmacies, notaries, school employees, electricity rates, Medi Cal juvenile inmates, writ of habeas corpus and more.
50 Days of the Dead: SugareeWe return to magical May of 1977 to find the band doing an extended feel-good jam of the Jerry Garcia/ Robert Hunter classic Sugaree
Toyota Camry Hybrid: Better than ever?Toyota decided to redesign the Camry a mere three years after its last major transformation. The 2015 redesign is very significant and gives Camry even more of an edge.
Father Trying to Build UnderstandingJoseph Hernandez of Auburn, Washington, knew before his son's birth that his son would have a birth defect, spina bifida. The only thing in doubt was whether Joseph would hang around.
Former Placer County Sheriff Sentenced in Sex CasePursuant to a plea agreement, Kenneth Skogen was sentenced to three years formal probation and must serve 150 days in jail and attend counseling for unlawful sex with a minor.
50 Days of the Dead: Peggy-OThe perfect dose of intricate guitar work over a smooth rhythm section to a Scottish folk song in this 1978 version of Peggy-O at the Huntington Civic Center in West Virginia.
Roseville's Blue Line Arts Gallery Highlights Student ArtistsRoseville CA--At the recent reception for artists and members, Julie Hirota, CEO, Blue Line Arts, introduced the results of the Prestigious Crocker-Kingsley Art Competition
Roseville Mail Theft Leads to Arrest of 34 Year OldRoseville officers arrested a 34-year-old man from Sacramento on suspicion of vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, and other related charges
New California Laws for 2015 (Part 26)New California laws for 2015 part 26 includes smartphones, health coverage, rape victims, prisoners DNA testing, cocaine, nonprofits, healing arts, student financial aid and more.
Flu Blamed in Death of Placer County ManPlacer County health officials confirmed today that influenza is believed to be a contributing factor in the death of a Placer County man.
Roseville Man Facing Felony Charges in Death of ThreeAaron Caudillo has been treated for his injuries at Mercy San Juan Hospital and has now been released from the hospital and booked into custody into the Sacramento County Jail.
Roseville Violent Crime Rate PlummetsThe violent crime rate in Roseville declined 28% in 2014, according to Roseville Police.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It