SILICON VALLEY MARCH FOR BABIES TO DRAW THOUSANDS

Matthew and David Taylor-Siegel of San Jose, CA. selected as 2019 March for Babies Ambassador Family

San Jose, CA | Thursday, March 28, 2019

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Thousands of families and local business leaders will join together on Saturday, April 27 at History Park in San Jose, CA for the March of Dimes 2019 Silicon Valley March for Babies presented by Sutter Health. March for Babies® bands communities together to fight for the health of all moms and babies. March of Dimes gives 4 million babies born each year the best possible start. Nearly half a million of them are born prematurely or with birth defects. Premature birth and its complications are the largest contributors to infant death in the U.S. and pregnancy-related death has more than doubled over the past 25 years. March for Babies® bands communities together to raise critical funds to support March of Dimes’ mission: to fight for the health of all moms and babies.

From start to finish, March for Babies celebrates families with special moments. Matthew and David Taylor-Siegel, the 2019 Silicon Valley March for Babies Ambassador Family, knew that twins can often arrive early, but they were shocked when their twin girls, Gabrielle and Cecilia, were born at 32 weeks gestation. Gabrielle was born first at 3 lbs., 4 oz. and Cecilia came 2 minutes later at 4 lbs., 3 oz. To complicate matters, their surrogate lived in Mexico City. After two weeks, the twins were able to be medially evacuated to El Camino Hospital. Cece spent 24 days total in three NICUs and Gabby spent 28 days in the NICU. Luckily, the twins had received surfactant therapy. “Today, we have healthy, strong and happy toddlers because of the research funded by March of Dimes that gave the surfactant treatment--the steroid shots-- which helped Cece’s and Gabby’s underdeveloped lungs breathe when they were born.” Today, the Taylor-Siegel family is dedicated to sharing their story to inspire others to help give every baby, and every family, a brighter start.

Health care and community leader, Chantel Johnson, Ph.D., R.N., who oversees pediatric and women’s health at Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), serves as the Silicon Valley March for Babies chair. “I have dedicated my career to improving the health of mothers and their babies, and I’m concerned that our county has seen an increase in preterm births for the past three years. I’m excited to be a part of this event that brings our community together to raise funds and awareness to make a huge difference for moms and babies,” says Dr. Johnson.

“When you March for Babies, you make a statement about the world you want to live in -- one in which healthy moms and strong babies are a priority for us all,” says Robert Pinnix, Greater Bay Area March of Dimes Executive Director. “It is a day for everyone. Together we hope for the day when all moms and babies are healthy. We remember those babies we lost. We celebrate every baby.”

Prior to the start of the march, children can take part in the superhero sprint, complete with a purple cape. Pre-registration for the superhero sprint is required; there is NO fee to participate. Participants, especially those who have experienced the loss of a baby, can remember by placing a butterfly stake with the child’s name on it in the butterfly garden at the walk site.

March of Dimes will also celebrate Silicon Valley volunteer, Leila Manning, for her dedication and significant fundraising contributions. Leila is the March for Babies Team Captain of “Pirate Power.” In the nine years the team has participated in the Silicon Valley walk, “Pirate Power” has raised over $156,000. “Pirate Power” walks in memory of Leila’s son, Ewan, who died from complications due to his premature birth. Leila leads one of the top Silicon Valley and Bay Area March for Babies family fundraising teams. Leila generously supports other families who have children in the NICU by being the co-chair for the NICU family advisory council and a NICU parent mentor for Santa Clara Kaiser. Leila is also on the Silicon Valley March for Babies Family Team committee and supports our fall fundraising event, Signature Chefs Auction,” says Sukhjit Hans, March of Dimes Senior Development Manager. “We are so grateful for everything Leila does to support the mission of March of Dimes.”

Silicon Valley March for Babies on-site registration begins on Saturday, April 27 at 8:00 a.m. in History Park in San Jose. This beautiful, family-friendly walk will kick off at 9:00 a.m. and will meander through Kelley Park, around Happy Hollow and then return to History Park.  Before and after the 3-mile march, the Festival Zone will be filled with music, sponsor booths, bounce house and face painters.  Everyone can enjoy healthy snacks and refreshments. 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 2019 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by Kmart, Famous Footwear, HCA, and Cigna. In our community, the Silicon Valley March for Babies is sponsored by Signature Sponsor: Sutter Health; Platinum Sponsor: Stanford Children’s Health Gold Sponsors: Big 5 Sporting Goods, Cisco, Good Samaritan Hospital, Regional Medical Center of San Jose, Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, CEFCU Silver Sponsor: Santa Clara Health Plan; Bronze Sponsor: MAMBaby; and Media Partners: ABC7 and Wild 94.9.

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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.