2013 March for Healthy Babies
Danielle Prenevost, March of Dimes, (612) 326-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org
Minnesotans come together for stronger, healthier babiesSt. Paul, MN, April 19, 2013
March of Dimes, the leading non-profit organization for maternal and infant health, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and its ongoing work to help all babies get a healthy start in life. 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.
The Twin Cities community is coming together to find the next breakthrough – an effective way to prevent premature birth. Thousands of friends, families and co-workers will march for health babies at the annual March for Babies Sunday, April 28 at Como Park. Registration starts at 10 am and the walk starts at 11 am. Friends, families and co-workers can sign up at marchforbabies.org.
Two families from Blaine are serving as ambassadors to inspire the Twin Cities to be their best for babies. Mike and Cyndy Guille were shocked when their daughter Gertie was born 16 1/2 weeks early. She weighed 1 pound, 7 ounces and was just a foot long. In the 136 days Gertie spent in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, she benefitted from numerous March of Dimes-funded breakthroughs and treatments. She also lived up to her motto: tiny but tough.
Today, Gertie is a happy, giggly little girl who is about to be a big sister. Her are expecting a baby in early summer.
Scott and Amanda Hedin walk in March for Babies in honor of one daughter and in memory of another. Life-threatening complications caused twins Reagan and Eden to be born 3 months premature at Children’s Hospital. A problem during pregnancy restricted Eden’s growth. She weighed one pound at birth; Reagan weighed 2 pounds, 5 ounces.
“As a mother my heart ached to hold my babies,” shared Amanda. “When the girls were three weeks old we finally were able to cuddle with them. This was one of the happiest moments of our lives.”
Reagan grew bigger and stronger during her 7 months in the NICU. Eden faced more obstacles and passed away at 8 months of age while waiting for a lung transplant. “We miss Eden so much and wish everyday that she was here with us,” said Amanda.
Today, Reagan is a 2 ½ year-old curious, sweet and loving child. Amanda and Scott turned their grief into action by supporting March for Babies and creating Eden’s Garden, an organization designed to keep Eden’s legacy alive and to help families like theirs who are going through the journey of being in the NICU.
Lawrence Massa, President and CEO of the Minnesota Hospital Association, is serving as chair for the 2013 March for Babies. He is raising awareness and funds to advance the scientific research and educational programs at the core of the March of Dimes efforts to prevent preterm birth and birth defects.
“For Minnesota hospitals, the care and safety of our patients is our highest priority and the mission of the March of Dimes aligns so well with the work of the Minnesota Hospital Association,” said Massa. “My work with the March of Dimes is a real honor – especially during the Foundation’s milestone 75th anniversary year. March for Babies gives everyone in our community the chance to work together for stronger, healthier babies and make a difference in the lives of millions of babies.”
The Minnesota Hospital Association is a large supporter of the most recent education push from the March of Dimes called Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait. The campaign educates moms babies aren’t fully developed until at least 39 weeks and if your pregnancy is healthy, wait for labor to begin on its own. MHA is providing March of Dimes educational flyers, DVDs and public service announcements as part of its patient safety work.
March for Babies at Como Park on Sunday, April 28 will include music, entertainment, food and plenty of games for kids of all ages. American Idol finalist Reed Grimm will take the stage at 11:30 am. The goal is to raise $1.8 million for stronger, healthier babies.
Twin Cities residents can sign up today at www.marchforbabies.org and start a team with co-workers, family or friends.
The 2013 March for Babies is sponsored locally by Medica and the Minnesota Hospital Association. 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.
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.