The success and passion of local supporters at the Greater Cincinnati/N. Kentucky March for Babies make it the ideal place to be on April 30, says March of Dimes President Stacey D. Stewart.
Stewart will be leading the event accompanied by GE Aviation Vice President of Commercial Engines Operations and March of Dimes National Board member Bill Fitzgerald; FC Cincinnati striker and Honorary Chair Omar Cummings; and the McCormick family, this year’s March for Babies ambassador family.
With premature birth being the #1 killer of babies and the leading cause of death for children under 5 worldwide, Stewart says March for Babies supporters have been crucial to achieving change and bringing hope to children and their families all over Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
“March for Babies supporters and volunteers are the heartbeat of the March of Dimes, and we simply couldn’t do our job for moms and babies without them,” said Stewart. “One in 10 babies in the U.S. is born too soon, but in some areas, like Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, the rate is even higher. March of Dimes is helping families here and across the country win the fight against premature birth.”
Christin and Andy McCormick were excited about becoming parents and looking forward to starting their family. But their baby Camryn arrived unexpectedly at only 26 weeks and 5 days, weighing only 1 pound, 14 ounces. She lived in an incubator in a hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for four months while being given blood transfusions, surfactant therapy, steroids, and many other medications to help her breathe, maintain normal blood pressure and stabilize her metabolism. Her parents say she fought hard for her life, until they were finally able to take her home after 186 days in the NICU.
“We will be forever indebted to the nurses, doctors and March of Dimes volunteers and researchers who got us through this journey with our daughter,” says Christin. “We are proud to support March for Babies by raising funds that will give every baby a fighting chance. We must raise awareness of the devastation caused by premature birth so that other families don’t have to go through it.”
Like Camryn, about 380,000 babies – or one in 10 — are born too soon in the United States each year. Premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) is the leading cause of death of babies in this country. Those who survive an early birth often face serious and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, jaundice, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays. In addition to the human toll, premature birth accounts for more than $26 billion annually in medical and societal costs.
The nation’s favorite walking event, March for Babies takes place in nearly 500 communities across the country and involves more than three million people each year. In Cincinnati, March for Babies will take place on Sunday, April 30 at 9 a.m. at Paul Brown Stadium.
Register for the event by visiting www.marchforbabies.org/event/cincinnati; or start a team with your company, family, or friends; or donate to help babies survive and thrive. The Fifth Third Bank 5.3K Run for Babies, held in conjunction with March for Babies, will begin earlier at 7:30 a.m. and will also start from Paul Brown Stadium.
To register, go to www.runforbabies.org/cincinnati.
Post-event celebrations will be in Sawyer Point following the walk.
For more information, contact the March of Dimes office at (513) 769-3588.