WASHINGTON — Muriel Ramos of Sebastian, Fla., finds great joy in raising her family of five. But for many years, a happy future seemed impossible.

In 1982, facing pressure from her then-fiance, Muriel was driven to a clinic for an abortion. She was 19 years old. Ramos said that afterward, "I was forever changed. I was heartbroken."

Ramos found healing through Silent No More, a group sponsored by Priests for Life. In 2006, she attended her first March for Life in Washington with the organization.

Ramos hoped to attend again this year, but finances proved an obstacle. A friend on Facebook knew a Minnesota family that wanted to help women who were struggling financially. They sent Ramos a note, a miraculous medal, and a check to cover her flight and hotel.

That was only the beginning of a chain of what she considers miracles that allowed her to attend the march.

"I made it here by the grace of God," she told Catholic News Service Jan. 22.

Ramos had thought her evening flight scheduled for Jan. 21 might be canceled, so she left the house in the morning in hopes of catching a standby flight. At noon she was informed that her suspicions were correct. She managed to get on the first standby flight. It was scheduled to leave Florida at 1:40 p.m., and would be the last flight heading to Washington for the day.

That standby flight was fraught with problems. The plane for the flight first had to come to Florida from Washington, and then would head back to Washington. But the plane was late coming in from Washington. When it finally arrived, it didn't take off from Florida to go to Washington for another hour.

Finally on its way, the flight was three minutes from landing at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport , when Ramos and the other passengers were informed the airport had just been closed because of snow.

Though the pilot had told them there was enough fuel to circle the airport, it was not enough to last indefinitely. The plane had to land in Richmond, Va.

Meanwhile, the women of Silent No More were praying that Ramos could get to Washington. They didn't think that Ramos' flight would get out of Richmond, so the women pooled their money to put her on a bus.

Luckily, that was unnecessary. The plane was de-iced and refueled in Richmond, Reagan National reopened, and at last, Ramos managed to land in Washington and get to her hotel.

It was worth the wait. Ramos is passionate about spreading the message of life, especially during a crucial time of decision-making over health care in the country.

"Lawmakers need to know that abortion is not health care. It kills a woman's relationship with her baby," she told. "It is the biggest lie. There is nothing healthy about abortion."

In years past, Ramos has shared her testimony on the Supreme Court steps.

This year, others spoke as Ramos held her sign, "I regret my abortion."

Sometimes passers-by yell and throw things at the women, but the overwhelming reaction is supportive. People hug them and cry.

"A lot of women come up to us and whisper in our ear: 'Thank you for doing this. I can't,'" Ramos said. "Teenage boys come up and ask, 'Can I just hug you?'"

"Because of our stories," she said, "hearts are changing."