Born four months premature, Olivia weighed only 1 pound, 2 ounces. She required more than 10 blood transfusions, heart surgery and extensive treatment for her eyes and lungs. In all, the infant was hospitalized for the first five months of her life.
Today, Olivia is a healthy girl who loves cartoons and doles out potato chips one by one to her 3-year-old sister, Sophia.
When Berry and her husband, John, were asked to donate her umbilical cord blood upon the Feb. 12 birth of their son, Nicholas, it was a no-brainer.
“If people didn’t donate, Olivia wouldn’t be here today,” the 33-year-old Berry says, overcome with emotion. “Without this stem-cell research, there’s no future, maybe no chance of curing so many diseases.”