Franklin D. Roosevelt founded the March of Dimes 75 years ago to fight polio. Once that mission was complete, the March of Dimes changed their focus to premature birth and birth defects. Today, their mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, infant mortality and premature birth. March of Dimes has aided in developing many of the tests, procedures and medications that help premature babies. Education is provided to women through prenatal care and beyond. Support is given to NICU families. Research and advocacy are two main components of the March of Dimes that help families every day.
Our story does not fit in very well with the other stories from March of Dimes. Kyleigh was not born premature. She did not spend any amount of time in the NICU. We did not have contact with anyone from March of Dimes when she died. While their website provides information regarding stillbirth, their main focus is prematurity and the road those babies travel to get from the NICU to home. So when we heard about the March for Babies, we were a little skeptical to participate. Was this the right thing for our family? Would we be honoring Kyleigh by participating? What would be our purpose for walking? Ultimately, we decided that we would walk. We would walk in Kyleigh’s memory. We would walk so that other families do not have to travel down the dark road that we are traveling. If just one baby is born healthy because of the money raised for March of Dimes, then it will be worth walking. If people who love our daughter join us to share in her memory, then it will be worth walking.
We have created a team, Kyleigh’s Gift, to walk in the March for Babies and help raise money that supports programs in the community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. Funds are also used in research to find answers to the problems that threaten our babies. So far, our team consists of 11 family members and friends. We hope that more will join us. Kyleigh’s Gift has a team goal of $1,000. While raising money is not our number one focus, we do want to help where we can.
Will you help us reach our goal? Will you give up eating out just once this week to help babies born too soon? Will you forgo your morning Starbuck’s and donate that money to Kyleigh’s Gift March for Babies team?
Go to http://www.marchforbabies.org/s_team_page.asp?SeId=2014776 to learn more and donate today!