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    March of Dimes Celebrates 75 Years

    Ginger Feldman, March of Dimes, (616) 247-6861, gfeldman@marchofdimes.com

    Working to Help All Babies Be Born Healthy at March for Babies Event

    Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 13, 2013 —


    On April 13 at Centennial Park, hundreds of families and business leaders will join together in the March of Dimes annual March for Babies walking fundraiser. The March of Dimes is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and its ongoing work to help all babies get a healthy start in life at March for Babies.

    March of Dimes, the leading non-profit organization for maternal and infant health, is observing a year-long celebration in honor of its founder, President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt. Affected by polio himself, FDR established the Foundation in 1938 to fight against polio. In FDR’s day, polio was an epidemic disease that paralyzed or killed up to 52,000 Americans, mostly children. In 1979 the organization completed its first mission of virtually eliminating polio in the USA. Today, the March of Dimes is hard at work to prevent the epidemic of premature birth, which affects nearly a half million babies every year.

    This year’s Holland Ambassador Family, the Crabills, know firsthand the difficulties of premature birth. In 2010, Rachel and John Crabill were both excited and anxious to be expecting their first child. Little did they know how quickly the experience would turn into a frightening one. Rachel was diagnosed with HELLP Syndrome, a life-threatening condition for both the baby and mother. The only option to save them both was to deliver the baby early. Charlie Michael Crabill was born on November 25, 2010, Thanksgiving Day, approximately 10 weeks before his due date. After many physical trials, emotional hurdles and 79 days in the NICU, Charlie has blossomed into a healthy, bright, and spirited 2-year-old boy, and is enjoying being big brother to his new little sister, Kate.

     "Before our son, Charlie, was born, I experienced preeclampsia. After his premature delivery, I learned how much the March of Dimes had invested into research that helped both of us," said Rachel.   "This past year, with little complications, we welcomed our daughter, Kate, to our family.  For all of these reaseon we will be forever thankful."

    More than 15 areas of March of Dimes research and programs touched the Crabill family.  March of Dimes has funded grants for gastrointestinal complications, preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome.  The Crabill family benefited from over four million dollars in research granted in the last five years.  The work to end premature birth, infant death, and birth dfevts continues for the March of Dimes.

    Registration begins at 9:00 am. Countdown for walkers doing the walk begins immediately after Opening Ceremonies at 9:30 am. Participation in March for Babies will provide a memorable and rewarding day for the whole family including crafts and games for the whole family, food before and after the walk, music, mascots, and more. To register for an event in your community, visit www.marchforbabies.org .

    Holland’s Presenting Sponsor is Lamar Construction. Additional local sponsors include Mead Johnson Nutrition, Flagstar Bank, Global Concepts, Request Foods, Sam’s Club, The Sherwin Williams Company, AAA Sling, Allied Waste/Republic Service, and Boer’s Transportation. The media sponsors include Fox 17, The Holland Sentinel, VAN 92.7, and WHTC 1450.

    Funds raised by March for Babies in Michigan help support many local programs including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Family Support Program located at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital to provide information and comfort to families during every possible stage of the NICU experience, including hospitalization and the transition home or the death of the newborn, prenatal wellness programs, research grants, and advocacy efforts for stronger, healthier babies.

    About 4 million babies are born in the United States each year, and the March of Dimes has helped each and every one through research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. Premature birth is the most urgent infant health problem in the U.S. today. It affects more than half a million babies each year, including 14,564 in Michigan. The March of Dimes is committed to funding research to find the answers to problems that continue to threaten the lives and the health of babies.

    The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

    The 2013 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Farmers Insurance Group, Macy’s, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Famous Footwear, Actavis, Mission Pharmacal, and United Airlines.








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