Join the March for Babies

Published 10:21 pm Monday, February 28, 2011

A group of Suffolk folks is gearing up for a spring fundraising event aimed at helping to assure babies are born healthy — and stay that way.

The March of Dimes is preparing for its Suffolk March for Babies, set for April 30. Local people are encouraged to form teams to participate in the walk.

The March of Dimes is perhaps best known for its historical efforts to collect dimes as a fundraising mechanism. The organization’s fundraising efforts most famously go toward research to help prevent preterm births.

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However, what I didn’t know until I did a story on it last week is that the March of Dimes also helps with a number of genetic disorders, birth defects, childhood diseases and even infertility. The organization even shows up in times of disaster to help ensure that expectant mothers and babies have their needs met.

My family has been blessed in that preterm birth is not one of the health problems we struggle with. (I was two weeks late!) Even so, I still remember to this day that my mother had a red T-shirt she got when she participated in March of Dimes at her workplace — showing that you don’t necessarily have to be directly affected by something to get behind the cause.

A couple years ago, I remember doing articles on the group of families that were serving as “ambassador families” — children who were born prematurely and were directly impacted by the research of March of Dimes.

One thing several of the families mentioned was how the use of surfactant treatment had helped their children survive those first few hours. The March of Dimes funded the research that initially developed surfactant treatment, which helps babies with breathing problems breathe on their own. March of Dimes research has actually led to 13 Nobel Prizes, according to the organization’s website.

With all this successful research for such a great cause, it’s hard to find a reason not to support the March of Dimes. Everyone can get behind something that helps babies be born full-term and healthy.

For more information on March of Dimes, visit Sign up for March for Babies at