Shaq Jumps Through Hoops for Healthy Babies
Communities Nationwide Host Annual March for Babies®
White Plains, New York | Thursday, March 1, 2012
Media ContactsMichele Kling (914-997-4613)
The March of Dimes and former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal are teaming up to win for babies.
Shaq, as he is known, is the 2012 celebrity spokesperson for the March of Dimes’ biggest fundraiser, March for Babies.
“March for Babies walks are a slam dunk event for anyone who wants to help give babies a healthy start,” said Shaq, who retired from the NBA in 2011 after 19 seasons and now is a sports analyst for TNT’s Inside the NBA. “I’m walking because I’m thankful that my children were born healthy. March for Babies supports research and local services that help moms have healthy, full-term babies. And if something does go wrong, March of Dimes is there with information and comfort.”
March for Babies takes place the last weekend in April in hundreds of communities nationwide. Shaq will be walking in Atlanta on April 28th.
The 2012 March for Babies goal is to raise $110 million to support cutting-edge research and community-based programs. Funds raised in March for Babies help bring comfort and information to families of babies in newborn intensive care. This year more than seven million people are expected to get involved in the event as sponsors, volunteers and participants.
“I’m not used to missing goals – or baskets,” said the winner of two NBA scoring titles and three-time MVP who played on 15 All-Star teams. “So come out and bring your family and friends to a March for Babies near you. Sign up to help at marchforbabies.org.”
Preterm birth is a serious health problem that costs the nation $26 billion annually, according to a 2006 Institute of Medicine report. Following three decades of increases, in 2010 the United States saw the first four-year decline in the preterm birth rate, to just under 12 percent. Despite the improvement, nearly half a million babies are born too soon each year and babies who survive an early birth face the increased risk of life long health challenges such as such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and others.
About March of Dimes
March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.