Kenya Moore overcame a variety of hurdles before welcoming her "miracle baby" Brooklyn Doris at age 47 — and now she has found a way to pay it forward.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta star, now 49, has sponsored a grant through the Baby Quest Foundation to provide financial assistance to families in her hometown of Detroit who need help paying for assisted conception, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or surrogacy.
"I waited most of my life to be able to have a child," Moore, who underwent IVF to have now-20-month-old Brooklyn, tells PEOPLE. "So I knew all the anguish that someone feels, especially a woman feels, to think that I may not be able to have a dream of having a child."
Moore says Brooklyn is her miracle child "on so many levels," sharing that turning 40 for her was a "wake-up call" in terms of her plans for motherhood.
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Kenya Moore Turns 49, Says Daughter Has Been a "Light in My Life" amid Split from Marc Daly
"I didn't want to have a child on my own. I did not want to be a single mother. And so I waited and then after 40, I looked up and I thought, 'Oh my God,' " she adds.
Then, Moore met husband Marc Daly at age 46 and one year later, the pair had Brooklyn. Daly and Moore announced that they were splitting in September 2019, but she has since shared that they are trying "everything to stay together."
In addition to having a later-in-life pregnancy, Moore ended up having Brooklyn about a month and a half preterm. She also suffered from preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that, according to the Mayo Clinic, is "characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys."
During the cesarean section delivery, doctors had to cut Moore horizontally and vertically to avoid fibroids that could've potentially caused her to bleed out. The procedure normally takes about 30 minutes, but Moore's lasted three hours.
"I call her my miracle baby because this was the child that everyone pretty much said it was slim to none for me to be able to have," she tells PEOPLE. "Every week, I held my breath, because I didn't know if she would survive."
Now, at nearly 2 years old, Brooklyn "could not be better," the Bravo star shares.
"She's just a happy baby," Moore raves. "She's been a happy baby from the moment she was born."
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