Around Town MI Magazine Article
March of Dimes
Remarkable for the last 75 years and working for the next 75 yearsGrand Rapids, Michigan, May 01, 2013
About 4 million babies are born in the United States each year, and in the last 75 years the March of Dimes has helped each and every one. March of Dimes is observing a year-long celebration in honor of its founder, President Franklin D. 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 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 2013 Grand Rapids Ambassador Family, the Prins, knows first hand the difficulties of premature birth. In July, 2010, Ashley and Erik Prins were ecstatic to receive news that they were expecting twins. However, the excitement was short lived when they were told there were complications. The twins were monoamniotic (developing in the same amniotic sac), which only has a terrifying 50 % survival rate. On December 19, 2010, Austin and Dylan were welcomed into the world. After many physical trials, emotional hurdles and 60 days in the NICU, both Austin and Dylan are now happy, healthy 2 year olds who are meeting all of their developmental milestones. More than 26 specific areas of March of Dimes research and programs touched the Prins family. Including over $1.4 million funded in monoamniotic twins research in the last decade.
“In Michigan, due to our remarkable programs and research facilities, March of Dimes is able to support even more local initiatives. Though our name is recognized nationally, it is good to know that out of every dollar donated .88 cents goes right back to mission programs in Michigan,” said Ginger Feldman, Executive Director of West Michigan March of Dimes. “Due to incredible support from volunteers, donors and our sponsors we have been able to keep our costs very low and put even more back into our mission.”
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Family Support Program®, located at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, is the only one of its kind in Michigan. The program provides information and comfort to families during every possible stage of the NICU experience, including hospitalization and the transition home or the unfortunate death of a newborn. In 2012 the program provided support, educational material and services to over 1,200 West Michigan families. Additional funding went to remarkable programs like First Steps Kent to support their ‘Welcome Home Baby’ program which provides essential supplies to encourage safe sleep among newborn babies. Muskegon Family Care was granted support to implement the Centering Pregnancy® model of group care in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) setting. Funds for their first year will be used as start-up for at least four Centering Pregnancy® groups.
The next two fundraising events, Bikers for Babies and Signature Chefs Auction are held in the fall. Save the date and join the fun.
- September 8th, 2013 - Take the ride of your life at Bikers for Babies, one of the largest motorcycle rides in Michigan, features multiple start sites that converge at US 131 Motorsports Park for an 85 mile parade-style ride around scenic small towns, lakes and byways in the Gun Lake area. All attendees will enjoy music, silent auction, local vendors and lunch by Texas Roadhouse. This is an event not to be missed, for those who love the open road and have a big heart! www.bikersforbabies.org
- November 11th, 2013- This gourmet extravaganza is perfect for the food lover in you! With a long history in the top 10 in the nation, the 2013 March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction features the skills and creativity of the finest local chefs and hottest restaurants. Guests are invited to sample the signature dishes of over 20 local chefs and are encourage to bid on incredible, unique and tempting silent auction and culinary live auction packages. For more information visit marchforbabies.com/Michigan or email email@example.com
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. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.