Thursday, April 26, 2012
Walking for Healthy Babies
Written by Suzanna Cisneros
The March of Dimes will host the 2012 March for Babies 9:30 a.m. Saturday (April 28) at Mackenzie Park, 600 E. Broadway St. This year’s 2012 March for Babies co-chairs are Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) president, and Steven L. Berk, M.D., TTUHSC executive vice president and provost and School of Medicine dean.
As this community helps raise needed funds, the March of Dimes is helping to reduce the rate of premature birth, Mitchell said.
“More than half a million babies are born prematurely each year across the country,” Mitchell said. “Thanks to companies and community members in West Texas, the March of Dimes is making progress. Still, too many babies are born too soon or sick. Join us in walking together for stronger, healthier babies.”
Berk said everyone should consider supporting the March of Dimes because of its important mission to improve the health of babies.
“Many people may not remember that President Franklin Roosevelt created the March of Dimes to help eradicate polio,” Berk said. “This led to the discovery of a vaccine that ended a polio epidemic in the United States. Now the focus is on preventing birth defects and infant mortality. When you support the March for Babies, you help take steps to end these health issues.”
The March of Dimes has led the way to discover the genetic causes of birth defects, to promote newborn screening and to educate medical professionals and the public about best practices for healthy pregnancy. A recent folic acid campaign achieved a dramatic reduction in the incidence of birth defects of the brain and spine.
Since 2003, the March of Dimes’ fight to save babies has been strongly characterized by the organization’s prematurity campaign. The rising incidence of premature birth has demanded action, and the March of Dimes has responded by initiating an intensive, multi-year campaign to raise awareness and find the causes of prematurity.
This year’s goal is to raise $335,000. Patrick, Jill and Benner Jude Ramsey are this year’s ambassador family. Benner has schizencephaly, a rare condition where a portion of the brain is missing.
For more information about how to participate or donate, contact the March of Dimes at (806) 797-6771.
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Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.