March for Babies

One out of seven babies in Texas is born too early. If born too early, they're more likely to die or have disabilities. One nonprofit hopes to change that by raising money for research to help better understand premature births. Pat Hernandez has more.

Volunteers with Houston's March of Dimes were busy preparing for their signature event at the University of Houston on Sunday called March for Babies. The 5-mile walk throughout the campus is largest event of its kind in the country. Susan Ramirez is the organization's director of development. She says it is a celebration of all babies.

"Those could be babies who are born healthy, babies who are born prematurely, babies who have birth defects, and we even have a very special butterfly garden that honors of these categories, but also are angels babies who were not able to make it."

Ramirez says money raised from the event allows researchers to pinpoint the causes of premature births.

"We can identify the causes for premature birth in 50-percent of the babies who are born early. But there's another 50-percent, and the mother may have had a perfectly normal healthy pregnancy, and all of a sudden the little one comes way too soon."

She says a premature baby can be left with a laundry list of lifelong disabilities, from hearing loss, vision impairment to mental challenges.

"So, things that we can understand would be, if the mother has been a smoker or an illegal drug user, we know there's a connection here. But there are many moms that don't fit into that definition of why this baby has come too soon."

The March for Babies is expected to raise at least 3-million dollars for research and programs to promote the safe birth of healthy babies. You can find more information at www.marchofdimes.com.

 

Montgomery County March for Babies
Saturday, April 30, 2011 at Woodlands Church, Fellowship Campus
8:30 a.m. - Opening Ceremonies
9:00 a.m. - Start

 

Houston March for Babies
Sunday May 1, 2011 at University of Houston-Robertson Stadium
8:00 a.m. - Opening Ceremonies
9:00 a.m. - Start

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...