(Photo courtesy of March of Dimes)
On Saturday, April 23, at River Bend Park in Bend, hundreds of families and business leaders will join together in the March of Dimes annual March for Babies–the nation’s oldest walk fundraiser honoring babies born healthy and those who need help to survive and thrive.
The Whitney family is one of many mission affected families walking this year. Kirk and Jay Whitney were looking forward to starting their family Elliot was born five weeks too soon, via C-section. At only 35 weeks gestation, Elliot came into the world struggling to breath. For the next 12 days Elliot was in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at St Charles Hospital, struggling with Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
He was given surfactant therapy, which he responded very well to, and eventually was allowed to go home. Elliot is now a healthy active three-year-old, who is looking forward with his parents to the birth of his little brother. Their story of premature birth has a happy ending, and the family is sharing it to raise awareness for what is the number one killer of babies. They want to promote a story of hope and also stress the need for more research to find the causes and solutions for early deliveries like theirs.
Joining the Whitney family, and so many others who know the distress of premature birth or birth defects, are local business, including Kendall Auto, MODA Health, Lifewise Health Systems, St. Charles Medical Center, and Pacific Source Health Plans.
Registration begins at 8am with the 5k walk kicking off at 9:00 a.m. Participation in March for Babies will provide a memorable and rewarding experience for the whole family including the Kids’ Clinic Workshop hosted by Home Depot and a lunch provided by MODA Health. Join the walk and begin fundraising today at www.marchforbabies.org.
Funds raised by March for Babies in Oregon and SW Washington help support prenatal wellness programs, research grants, information for families experiencing a newborn intensive care unit (NICU) hospitalization and advocacy efforts for stronger, healthier babies. Premature birth is the most urgent infant health problem in the U.S. today. It affects nearly half a million babies each year, including 4,264 in Oregon.
For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at marchforbabies.org. Locally March for Babies is sponsored by First Tech Federal Credit Union, Big 5, Kendall Auto, Western Title & Escrow, and SELCO Solutions. The 2016 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Famous Footwear, Macy’s, Cigna, United Airlines and Mission Pharmacal.
Judy C Smith, Community Director
Aimee Corey, Executive Director of Market Development