Veronica De La Cruz Expecting First Child

01/29/2013 at 02:00 PM ET

There’s a baby on the way for Veronica De La Cruz.

The Early Today and First Look host, 32, is expecting her first child in March, her rep confirms to PEOPLE exclusively.

“I am so thrilled to be having this baby, I am extremely family oriented so this is the culmination of a lifelong dream,” De La Cruz tells PEOPLE. “After the pain and devastation of losing my brother Eric in 2009, it is a miracle to be able to add to our family in this way.”

The anchor founded the Hope for Hearts Foundation in memory of her sibling, who passed away awaiting a heart transplant after struggling to get health insurance with a pre-existing medical condition.

Prior to joining MSNBC in 2010, De La Cruz spent over five years at CNN, where she was correspondent for American Morning, anchored the Asian In American seriesĀ and covered major breaking news stories. She also was a competitive figure skater for 10 years.

Veronica De La Cruz Pregnant Bump Photo
Belinda Louann

— Sarah Michaud

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , Expecting , Maternity , News

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Patrika on

This is such exciting news! The picture of her is so beautiful. She’s going to be a wonderful mommy! I’m so excited for her!!

mona on

Congrats Veronica! Lucky baby!

writechic on

How gorgeous! She looks so serene.

Jennifer S on

What a sad story about her brother. These insurance companies are something else I tell you. Congrats to Veronica!

Sharon on

So happy for her…such a blessing after what happened to her brother. She looks gorgeous in that pic! Unfortunately, I am sure there will still be haters out there who say negative things…ugh.

Grace Marie on

That is sad about her brother. Could someone in the family paid for the transplant? Insurance companies are hard on pre-existing conditions. I had the same experience in my family. I wrote to the local newspaper and called city and county organizations and was turned away. My brother paid the toll – his life at age 25.

Just Me on

Grace Maria, transplants are well over half a million dollars. My dad has had two and thankfully, they were covered by workers comp. we would have NEVER been able to afford them on our own or even with donations.

Anonymous on

Who’s the father (not trying to be snarky, just curious!)? Anyway, congrats to her!

shannon on

I remember the struggles of her brother all too well. He had a genetic heart problem and needed a transplant but no insurer would cover it because it was a “pre-existing condition.” Likewise, they couldn’t get Medicaid to cover it if they crossed state lines to have the transplant done.

When this news broke in the spring of 2009, musician Trent Reznor did what he could to help raise money for the surgery by auctioning off old equipment and selling VIP experiences to his band’s concerts. He raised thousands of dollars but ultimately it was too little too late.

If Eric’s death was not in vain, it highlights one of the changes that must come to the American health system. He may still be with us if he had not been denied insurance coverage in the first place.

Having said all that, I, too, am thrilled for Veronica. She seems excited and her child will have a very supportive and loving family. If it’s a boy, I wouldn’t be surprised if she names him in honor of her brother.

pep on

Congrats to her but im not sure i like the pik it looks so .. she could of made it look tasteful .. that just my opinion ..