• Davidson family pays it forward to ‘March for Babies'

    By: Stephanie Maxwell

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Davidson family is raising thousands of dollars to show their appreciation for the March of Dimes, and they have two major reasons to say “thank you” to the charity that supported them during tough times.

    Clayton Banks has defied doctors’ expectations since birth.

    RELATED ARTICLE: March for Babies 

    “From day one, the odds were not in his favor,” said Clayton’s father, Bonswa Banks.

    Clayton was born at 24 weeks, weighing 1 pound 5.5 ounces. Doctors told Bonswa and Avie Banks their son's first days in the hospital as a preemie would be critical.

    “Every day he got better and better, and got stronger and stronger,” said Clayton’s mother, Avie Banks. “There were little setbacks, but faith kept us through.”

    He spent 95 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Now, Clayton is almost 5 years old and wants to be as independent as possible, despite some challenges.

    “He has cerebral palsy,” Avie said. “He still teeters a little bit when he walks, but he'll tell you, ‘I can do it.’”

    They said they owe much to the March of Dimes for supporting them twice; both Clayton and his older sister, Kenya, were born premature.

    Now the family is paying it forward by collecting money for the organization's March for Babies fundraiser.

    Their team name is "Coins for Clayton."

    “It's just our symbolic way of giving back to continue to allow for funding research for other babies that may experience what our family went through,” Avie said.

    Doctors say that eventually, Clayton will be able to walk without help, a day his father anticipates with great emotion.

    “It's going to be a moment of pride, and a moment of humbleness,” Bonswa said. “To see somebody that you didn't think was going to make it from day one.”

    Avie wrote a book about their journey with Clayton as a preemie titled "95 days in the NICU."

    Channel 9 is a proud media sponsor of the March of Dimes March for Babies.

    The walk takes place April 29 at Romare Bearden Park.

    To sign up, click here.

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