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      A miracle baby

      Amy and Michael Vallarino know their little girl, Margarita Isabella, or Maggie, is a miracle.

      Vallarino had a C-Section this week at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital - two months after being diagnosed at six months pregnant with stage 4 breast cancer. Dr. Thomas Pinckert hoped to get the baby to 32 weeks gestation before delivery. But Amy began having difficulties, and was delivered at 31 1/2 weeks.

      "She came out and was robust and spunky - she did great," Pinckert, a maternal fetal medicine specialist, said about the baby girl.

      Despite the early arrival, Maggie weighed three pounds, 10 ounces and was 17 inches long. She'll spend the next month in the hospital getting bigger and stronger.

      She already seems like a fighter - just like her exhausted mother.

      While pregnant, Vallarino, also a mom to a 2-year-old son, had chemotherapy and took pain medication. She couldn't receive radiation or an antibody called Herceptin. She'll begin those critical treatments next week.

      Michael Vallarino will care for his wife and kids and is hopeful the outlook for his wife and newborn daughter.

      Vallarino's cancer has spread to her liver, lungs, spleen and spine. There's no cure for stage 4 breast cancer. But Vallarino's oncologist said the treatment's she'll begin next week will give her the best chance of going into remission.

      Vallarino has set up a website that includes a calendar to indicate when the family might need help with meals, babysitting or other errands.

      A fund has been established for the Vallarinos:

      Amy Vallarino Cancer FundMid-Atlantic Federal Credit UnionAcct: 000439650Routing # 255077477PO Box 2270Germantown, MD 20875

      For questions about the fund, you can email amyscancerfund@gmail.com.