SILICON VALLEY MARCH FOR BABIES TO DRAW THOUSANDS TO HELP FUND THE FIGHT AGAINST PRETERM BIRTH AND OTHER THREATS TO MATERNAL AND INFANT HEALTH

San Jose, CA | Friday, April 14, 2017

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Thousands of families and local business leaders will join together on Sunday, April 30 at History Park in San Jose, CA for the 2017 March for Babies presented by Sutter Health. March for Babies is the nation’s oldest fundraising and support the March of Dimes. Funds raised through March for Babies help in the fight against premature birth, now the leading global cause of death for children under five years old. In the United States, one in ten babies is born preterm which ranks among the worst in high-resource countries. Babies who survive often face serious and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays.

The March for Babies campaign has special meaning for the Rincon family, this year’s Silicon Valley March for Babies Ambassador Family. Amy Rincon experienced a difficult pregnancy due to preeclampsia. Despite of the doctor’s attempts to lengthen the pregnancy, her daughter, Miranda, was born at 27 weeks 1 day gestation and weighing only 1 pound 4 ounces. Miranda spent over 100 days in the Good Samaritan Hospital’s NICU, coming home 2 weeks after her original due date.  Miranda is growing up to be a healthy and happy girl much to the delight of her family. “We are thankful for the care provided by the NICU staff and the March of Dimes research, education and breakthroughs that make it possible for Miranda and other babies to survive and thrive,” said Amy Rincon.

“Supporting March for Babies is a natural fit for our medical center as we see firsthand the effects of preterm birth in our patients and families,” said 2017 Silicon Valley March for Babies Chair, Michael Johnson, CEO of Regional Medical Center of San Jose. “We believe it is important to be proactive in meeting the needs of our patients and community. Many of our own employees have been affected by the mission of March of Dimes and are excited to be a part of this year’s March for Babies walk.”

            March for Babies is the largest annual fundraising event of the March of Dimes, but it also is a special celebration for many families. There is a sense of community among families who have experienced having a baby in the NICU. These families have experienced the roller coaster of emotions — from heart wrenching to joy.

“March for Babies is a memorable and rewarding event for the whole family,” said Sukhit Hans, Bay Area March of Dimes Senior Development Manager.  “We celebrate children and parents who experienced the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or special care nursery.  We’ll recognize these families throughout the day with a Superhero Sprint for kids, complete with a purple cape, a symbolic lei for mom and dad and loads of fun in the kids’ zone. And, for the first time, participants will have the opportunity to walk through our Memory Mile and visit our unforgettable March for Babies Butterfly Garden. Those who have experienced loss will find a meaningful way to remember their baby,” he said.

Premature birth is the leading cause of death among babies in the United States. It affects about 380,000 babies — that’s 1 in 10 — born each year, including 41,560 in California. Funds raised by March for Babies in Silicon Valley support March of Dimes programs that provide comfort and support for moms and babies as well as innovative research, including 6 research grants totaling $3.599 million to Stanford University, to find the unknown causes of premature birth and birth defects.

Silicon Valley March for Babies on-site registration begins on Sunday, April 30 at 8:00 a.m. in History Park in San Jose with the 3-mile walk kicking off at 9:00 a.m. This beautiful 3-mile family-friendly walk will meander through Kelley Park, around Happy Hollow and then return to History Park. During the walk festivities, families will enjoy some of the area’s favorite mascots, including characters from California’s Great America and “Danny the Dragon” from Happy Hollow. The Family Zone will have live music, a bouncy house and many fun, family activities including a chance to learn more about Happy Hollow and a chance to visit the Santa Clara County Library Bookmobile!

ABC7 is a media sponsor and ABC7 News South Bay Bureau reporter, Janine De la Vega, will host the Silicon Valley March for Babies program. Silicon Valley residents can sign up today at marchforbabies.org to start a team with co-workers, family or friends; or make a donation to help more babies get a healthy start in life.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org. If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our shareyourstory.org community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit peristats.org. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The 2017 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by Kmart, Famous Footwear, Macy’s, Cigna, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) parent company to Regional Medical Center of San Jose and Good Samaritan Hospital, and regional sponsor Publix Super Markets, Inc. The Silicon Valley March for Babies is sponsored locally by: Signature Sponsor: Sutter Health; Gold Sponsors: Big 5 Sporting Goods, Good Samaritan Hospital and Regional Medical Center of San Jose; Media Sponsors: ABC7, Wild 94.9 and Mommy Nearest.

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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.

Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.