On Saturday, April 28 our community will be walking in March for Babies to give hope to the families of babies born too soon or sick -- more than 7,200 each year in Minnesota alone.
The money we raise will support March of Dimes research and programs that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies right here in Southeastern Minnesota.
It funds research to find answers to the serious problems that threaten our babies, like premature birth. Affecting more than half a million babies in our country each year, premature birth is the #1 cause of newborn death and the rate of premature birth continues to rise.
Registration for March for Babies at Eagle’s Club is at 8:00 am. The walk starts at 9:00 am.
Robert LaCasse, who is Regional Director of Operations of Rochester Wellness Hotels, knows how important the March of Dimes mission is. As a leader at Rochester’s second-largest employer, he has taken on the role of March for Babies Chair to raise awareness and important funding to provide for babies who are born premature or with birth defects.
“As a business leader, this campaign gives me and my company a unique opportunity to help the community that I love. I can’t think of a more important cause than our babies,” said LaCasse, who will be visiting local businesses to request their support in the coming months.
Matt and Amanda Hinchley walk in the Rochester March for Babies in honor of their twin daughters born too soon and too small. A complication during pregnancy allowed one baby to grow bigger while restricting development of the other. Doctors performed several procedures, including surgery to try and fix the problem, but the babies became very sick.
At 25 weeks into her pregnancy, Amanda delivered Morgan and Brooke. Morgan weighed two pounds, five ounces. Brooke weighed two pounds, 14 ounces. “That day my life changed forever, not because I became the mom of twin girls, but because I became mom of twin girls born premature,” said Amanda. “I tried everything I could to help them fight for their lives.”
March of Dimes was there for the fragile babies funding the research that led to life-saving therapies to treat their undeveloped lungs. March of Dimes led the drive to put newborn intensive care units (NICUs) within reach of every baby. Morgan spent her first three months of life in the NICU. She’s now two years old with a clean bill of health. Brooke had a tougher fight. She was in the NICU for 116 days and has undergone more than 10 surgeries in her short lifetime. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and other conditions.
“Looking at Brooke, you can’t see any of it,” said Amanda. “She has a smile that breaks your heart and a sister that encourages her that she can do anything.”
Preterm birth can happen to any pregnant woman. In about half of all cases, the causes are unknown. The March of Dimes has taken on this devastating problem — to find out what causes it and how it can be stopped. “We share our story to encourage people to join the March for Babies. We want families to know that anything is possible,” said Amanda.