When my younger sister, Beverly, was born, she was so small she could fit in the palm of my mother’s hand. Born on April 13, 1986, she was a whopping 1 pound 10 ounces. She arrived three months early. Today she is a feisty 26-year-old mother, college student, sister and friend. She actually turned 27 April 13. Her journey hasn’t been an easy one but she is still here.
The March of Dimes is a leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. My mother didn’t know much about the March of Dimes 28 years ago. However, now that I know about it and understand what it does, it’s important for me to support it by walking for mothers and children who were born prematurely like our Beverly.
The annual March for Babies will take place in Minnesota now-May 11 in 16 cities throughout Minnesota. The money raised supports programs in the area that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies, according to program materials. Money raised from the event also funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten babies. The walks have been held since 1970. They have raised about $2 billion to benefit all babies.
The annual St. Cloud Walk for Babies was held April 13 at St. Cloud State University. Yes, I was there as part of the Newsleaders’ team. Members of our staff walk for different reasons, but we’re all united on that particular day. This will be the second year I’ve participated in the walk, and I’ve looked forward to it each time.
There’s a sense of camaraderie that flows through the event. You see families with T-shirts celebrating the lives of young ones lost and team names that reflect those young fighters. My favorite part is seeing families with strollers whose passengers are rolling along in memory of their older siblings. It’s such a touching day.
Last year, a St. Joseph family served as the ambassador family for the St. Cloud March of Dimes. The Muyres (Dan, Josie and Madeline) walked in honor of one daughter and in memory of another, their identical twins Madeline and Megan. A complication during pregnancy allowed Madeline to grow bigger while restricting development of Megan. They said then they were helpful for the support from the March of Dimes. Their March for Babies team is named “Maddy’s Way.”
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the March for Babies. What an accomplishment and a worthy cause. Hundreds of people take part in this walk and on that day reflect on their loved ones. As I walk, I think of my sister who is fortunate enough to be here, and pray for those who are not. For more information about the Minnesota March of Dimes, visit www.marchofdimes.com/minnesota.