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Archive for Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lawrence’s March for Babies set for April; cause hits home for health reporter

Cassandra and Matt Elwell, Lawrence, get ready to lead the March for Babies Walk in downtown Lawrence. They were the co-chairs of the 2009 event, which raised $42,000 for the March of Dimes. They walked in memory of their first daughter, Grace, and in honor of their second daughter, Campbell, who is in the stroller at right. Also, in the stroller is Campbell's little sister, Paige.

Cassandra and Matt Elwell, Lawrence, get ready to lead the March for Babies Walk in downtown Lawrence. They were the co-chairs of the 2009 event, which raised $42,000 for the March of Dimes. They walked in memory of their first daughter, Grace, and in honor of their second daughter, Campbell, who is in the stroller at right. Also, in the stroller is Campbell's little sister, Paige.

February 2, 2010

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Last spring, I participated in my first March for Babies Walk to support co-worker Matt Elwell, and his wife, Cassandra, who lost their first daughter, Grace, to premature birth. Their second daughter, Campbell, was born 14 weeks premature.

The event is a fundraiser for the March of Dimes, a nonprofit group that works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

This year, I plan to walk again. This year, the event has a different meaning for me.

My nephew Jonathan was born Sept. 1. Eleven weeks premature, he came into this world weighing just 2 pounds, 5 ounces.

Lawrence resident Karrey Britt spends time with her nephew, Jonathan, during the holidays. Jonathan was born 11 weeks early on Sept. 1, weighing just 2 pounds, 5 ounces. By the holidays, he was home and weighed 10 pounds.

Lawrence resident Karrey Britt spends time with her nephew, Jonathan, during the holidays. Jonathan was born 11 weeks early on Sept. 1, weighing just 2 pounds, 5 ounces. By the holidays, he was home and weighed 10 pounds.

Thanks to talented doctors and nurses, prayers, and research by organizations like this, he is doing well. Jonathan weighs a hearty 12 pounds and gains more every day.

Campbell also has grown to be a happy 4-year-old who is full of energy.

So, I was excited to receive a press release about the planning efforts that are under way for the April 24 event that begins and ends in South Park.

A kick-off luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 16 at Maceli’s, 1031 N.H., for team captains and others interested in joining the effort.

If you want to attend the luncheon, learn more, or register a team, call Andrea Jones, March of Dimes community director, at 785-228-0084.

Teams also can register online at www.marchforbabies.org.

Mark Woodward

Mark Woodward

This year’s chairman is Mark Woodward, chief executive officer of Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. On behalf of the business, Woodward has committed to raising $5,000.

Last year, 200 walkers raised $42,000. This year’s goal is $45,000.

Premature birth affects more than half a million babies each year.

In 2008, there were 3,873 premature births in Kansas and 125 in Douglas County.

Babies born too soon are more likely to die or have disabilities. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health.

Comments

Ray Parker 4 years, 2 months ago

At least 113 studies show a dramatic association between abortion and premature birth in subsequent pregnancies - 36% increased risk after one abortion, a staggering 93% after two. Premature babies often suffer associated long-term medical problems, such as cerebral palsy and infant mortality during the first year. If abortion were abolished today, babies would continue to suffer victimization for another 20 years, as post-abortive mothers continued with later pregnancies at increased risk of premature birth.

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