Thousands of families and local business leaders will join together on May 6, at Nationals Park for the 2017 March for Babies, the nation’s oldest fundraising walk, which helps more babies survive and thrive.
This year’s Washington D.C. Ambassador Family is the Baldwin Family. Audrey and Scott were excited about growing their family in 2015, when the amniotic sac ruptured. She spent three weeks in the hospital on bedrest, away from her other 1-year-old daughter, Reese. Baby Shay was born by emergency C-section at 30 weeks weighing only 4 pounds 5 ounces. Shay was unable to breathe on her own for several weeks and suffered from bradycardia — significantly low heart rate. She spent her first 43 days fighting for life in a hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and continues to have breathing problems, even though she is on track and continues to grow. The Baldwin family never thought this would happen to them so today they encourage others to participate in March for Babies.
Kevin Nagel, managing partner, Ernst & Young, serves in 2017 as the Washington D.C. March for Babies chair. “As a father myself, I am delighted to serve in this important role to raise awareness and urgently-needed funds for the March of Dimes mission to prevent birth defects and premature birth.”
On-site registration will begins at 8 a.m. with the 3-mile walk kicking off at 9 a.m. Area residents can sign up or find another local walk at marchforbabies.org to start a team with co-workers, family or friends; or make a donation to help more babies get a healthy start in life.
“March for Babies is also a memorable and rewarding event for the whole family,” says Nagel. “We celebrate children and parents who experienced the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or special care nursery. We’ll recognize these families throughout the day with a Superhero Sprint for kids, complete with a purple cape, a symbolic lei for mom and dad and loads of fun in the kids’ zone.”
“This year for the first time, participants will have the opportunity to walk through our Memory Mile and visit our unforgettable March for Babies Memory Garden. Those who have experienced loss will find a meaningful way to remember their baby by planting a flower in our butterfly garden,” he says.
Premature birth is the leading cause of death among babies in the United States. It affects about 380,000 babies – that’s 1 in 10 — born each year, including 982 in Washington D.C. Funds raised by March for Babies in Washington D.C. support local programs such as the NICU Family Support programs at Children’s National Health System, Inova Children’s Hospital, Inova Fair Oaks Hospital and Inova Loudoun Hospital as well as innovative research to find the unknown causes of premature birth and birth defects.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org. If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our shareyourstory.org community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit persistats.org. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.