Car wash for Fresno family facing death of baby

The Fresno BeeApril 18, 2014 

A Fresno family is holding a car wash Saturday at Blackstone and Ashlan Avenues to raise funds for a baby due this summer, but which could die soon after because of a genetic condition.

Monique Duarte, 18, said doctors have told her that her baby has Trisomy 18, also called Edwards syndrome, a condition that is caused by an error in cell division. The condition occurs in about one in 6,000 live births, according to the Trisomy 18 Foundation web site.

About 50% of babies with the condition are stillborn and less than 10% survive to their first birthdays.

Duarte and her family are preparing for the death of the baby, named Athena.

"I try not to think about what I'm going to have to go through," Duarte said. "I still think a miracle or something could happen."

The family is hoping to raise $4,000 for burial expenses and has raised about $1,000. In addition to the car wash, Duarte said the family has opened a burial account for Athena at Citibank. People wishing to donate can visit Citibank branches and say they would like to make a donation to the "Donate to Athena" account.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6310, or @beehealthwriter on Twitter.

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