'March for Babies' helps raise funds for premature birth, birth defects

Source: Ken Baker
Source: Ken Baker

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – South Carolinians came out to the McLeod Health and Fitness Center in Florence Saturday to support the March of Dimes' mission of healthier babies in the annual March for Babies.

WMBF News' own Theo Hayes spoke at the event, which started at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, with participants walking one or three miles to help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects. Following the walk, participants enjoyed food and family-fun activities.

Below is a news release from the March of Dimes with more information on their mission, Saturday's March for Babies, and information on how you can contribute to their cause:

In an average week in South Carolina, 155 babies are born too soon. Premature babies often spend their first weeks in the NICU fighting for life, and often have life long health and developmental consequences.

March of Dimes is the champion for all babies, those born healthy and those who need help to survive and thrive

The Reynolds Family serves as our 2014 Florence-Darlington Ambassador Family. Their twin daughters, Sullivan and Hallie were born at 23 weeks and 6 days on April 9, 2012. Quickly after birth, they were rushed to the McLeod Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Florence. Sullivan and Hallie were given only a six percent chance of survival. But 121 days after being born, they were able to come home thanks to the continued efforts of the March of Dimes and medical care provided at the McLeod Health NICU.

Each year the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes invests in mission initiatives statewide, including research grants and local community programs. Through these programs, the March of Dimes continues working to prevent birth defects and infant death, to reduce South Carolina's premature birth rate, and to increase access to prenatal care and educate men and women about having healthy babies.

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. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com/southcarolina. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

The 2014 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one supporter, Kmart, Macy's, Famous Footwear, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Mission Pharmacal, Actavis and United Airlines.

Local sponsors McLeod Health, Assurant Solutions, BlueCross BlueSheild and Honda.

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